Pakistan is mourning over the dying young potential. With spiraling numbers of the youth being pushed and pulled by the brain drain, the country is losing its footing as a young nation. No doubt, as per the reports of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Pakistan has more than 60% of its people in the bracket of youth-age of 15-29 years, but how come a country remains young at heart when these assets of the future are either immigrating, slipping, escaping, or growing the older heart as long as they stay in that country?
The conception of this land, as per the historical archives of Pakistan mention, was spearheaded by young people. Young people remained the front-line workers while setting the cornerstone of the country’s existence. However, this service delivery, undoubtedly voluntarily, has given Pakistani youth nothing but the horror dreams of socio-political banning, economic hardships, cultural disharmony, and life remorse. It is to be noted that being a young person, my heart cries when I see my fellow young brothers and sisters struggling in the name of selfish political, religious, and social agendas.
Setting the path straight, multiple reasons are underlined for the current existence of the young people being tortured and sandwiched between their social, personal, and professional lives. This sandwiching thwarts the physical, intellectual, and emotional progress of young people. In this packing in, there have been multiple reasons, big and small, which have concluded a disaster in the life of youth. The major ones are illustrated according to my research, observation, experimentation, and personal experience.
When critical thinking ends for young people, they become blind-follower
Firstly, the family structure in Pakistan remains a dwindling facet. Youth is supposed to be encouraged, appreciated, and pushed to progress. According to psychoanalysis methods of Jung, encouragement drives the high prospects of a person. However, in Pakistan, the situations are in the kitty corner. Pakistani family system, majorly, is the joint family system where multiple family members involved in one’s life.
From childhood to adolescence and adulthood, the perceptions shaped in a person’s mind are heavily influenced by this family culture. In this family culture, along with the unnecessary participation of far-flung family relations, appreciation and encouragement are given with fear, dreadfulness, and at the cost of nonsense. The care of Pakistani parents degenerates into insecurity and the children’s critical thinking is turned down by the advert of disrespectfulness. All this makes the young people think in a narrow spectrum, making them severely dependent on family thinking by handicapping their intellectual potential.
Secondly, the exploitation of young people by political and religious groups for their clandestine agendas is agonizing. To note this, Nietzsche’s philosophical interpretation of master-slave or herd mentality remains a key. According to it, the unreasonable and irrational groups undermine the reasonable and rational groups. Thus, in Pakistan, the political and religious parties who use the young people for themselves, not only abuse the young people who work for them but also abuse those who are naïve to such agendas. The whole ball of wax perplexes, derails, and misguides the young people. They become the boorish type and do not know that do not know anything. Hence, this maltreatment with the touch of supremacy-cum-notoriety, in due course, makes them irrational, illogical, ill-observed, and ill-advised.
Last, in terms of major concerns, the lack of education is the most alarming and bulldozing disaster for young people. The quality of education from primary to higher studies remains dubious. It lacks the realistic touch and does not teach the pupil about historical realities, philosophical wisdom, or by and large, any technical skill. Adding insult to this injury, the majority of the young people lose their interest in critical education and run before the grades only.
This makes things worse because when critical thinking ends, the blind following starts. Due to this, a young person has his head in the clouds throughout his life onwards. Practicality and realism in our educational PLOs and SLOs lacks while the young people are shredded as the sheep. Overall, this makes a person technically, intellectually, and academically rotted and forced-learned.
All of the above-mentioned concerns remain the eventual demise of young Pakistan
Young people, by reaching the end of their teenage and the start of their professional careers, become uninterested in Pakistan. Their ignorance compels them to leave the country for a better livelihood. With this, once a young adult goes out, seldom returns home. This is altogether due to some other reasons including opportunities deficit for youth, religious fanaticism, declining health services, human rights issues, the country’s reluctance to modernity, overflowing conservativeness, and destabilized civilian supremacy.
The youth of Pakistan is on the ventilator with the supply running out. Instead of being ridiculously optimistic, people need to see the situation through a realist lens. The government must start realizing that if there is no future driver of the country, there is no future for the nation. Public policies for youth inclusion, youth-centric laws, and youth entrepreneurship are the need of the time. Along with this, instead of relying solely on the experience of traditional bureaucracy, military, and legislators, the country must amalgamate the young-say as well.
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Youth needs to be integrated with every aspect of the country. Similarly, the people must renovate the social structure for youth development. Young people must start showing their strength with peaceful, sensible, and practical silver tongues. With all this, political leaders and young people must understand the importance of critical thinking, self-awareness, and logical reasoning. In the end, the academia of Pakistan must take steps forward in rejuvenating the young spirits by educating them not only in the classrooms but also outside of it. As George Santayana perfectly sums it up a child educated only at school, is an uneducated child.
The writer is an Islamabad-based political commentator and social critic with keen interests in the political-economic sphere, social order and philosophy. He can be reached at @Sarmadshahbaz01. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.