“I have lived as plain Mr. Jinnah and I hope to die as plain Mr. Jinnah. I am very much averse to any title or honours and I will be more than happy if there was no prefix to my name.”
Pakistan came into being with Jinnah’s resolute stance and Statesmanship. He was the creator, a visionary and a man who stood tall despite all sporadic elements and finally won us a land. A land of our own, named Pakistan. Though it was not a posthumous state but was orphaned within a year. We lost the guidance of the Father of the Nation. Had he lived a few years we would have been a ‘Nation’ and not just a country. We can write volumes in praise of Jinnah, which would not fulfil his actual self. No words can live up to the stature of Jinnah. He is beyond words, as they all fall way short to describe him.
They do not see the “iconic” figures interacting with them on any platform. “When there is no bond between the so-called ‘Contractors’ of Democracy. Why should the youth care to even listen to them? The military is untouchable, Judiciary is sellable, Media is a liar, and to top it all Politician is the father of all evils” said a brilliant youth.
His thoughts and expectations for the youth are as unique as the man himself. This is where we will delve deeper in order to search for our lost youth.
“My young friends, I look forward to you as the real makers of Pakistan, do not be exploited and do not be misled. Create amongst yourselves complete unity and solidarity. Set an example of what youth can do. Your main occupation should be in fairness to yourself, to your parents, in fairness to the State, to devote your attention to your studies. If you fritter away your energies now, you will always regret.”
-Mohammad Ali Jinnah
Today I stood awe-stricken, gazing into empty space, thinking “what went wrong where?” Wondering where is the youth of 1947?
Before we ask this question, I would reiterate and highlight the fascinating reason behind the evolution, prevalence, and sustenance of the human race, which attributed to creating a better future for the next generation. The need of the hour is the dormant values of compassion, where the idea of interdependence assumed a new form of meaning. By virtue of their behaviour, the aim of institutions is to reduce uncertainty.
“A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, Men of Earth
If all the Soul-and-Body Scars
Were not too much to pay for Birth
Chaotic as it may sound, the psychologists, education experts, and professors etc. do not have a remedy for the confused and volatile state of affairs. Jinnah did not make Pakistan for the “then” generation. It was a home for generations to come. He left us an enduring legacy called ‘Pakistan’. Nevertheless, if his vision is to be attained, a lot still needs to be achieved and accomplished. Our politicians just give statements and quote Jinnah, but never emulate him in words and actions. The sense of personal dignity and self-confidence that Jinnah had is inversely proportional to the Stateliness and honour which has long been lost in our political elite. These politicians have mastered only one art: giving emotional, wizened and gut-wrenching speeches. Whereas in comparison the lesson learned from Jinnah is as he once quoted to Liaqat Ali Khan, “I don’t care for beautiful language: I only see my idea through”.
“Our modern world is changing, and everyone is busy blaming the youth today, But how can we blame the future, when it was us who made their world this way. Our street corners are full, that our children think it is okay to walk into the darkness with a knife. When did we stop teaching our kids that the greatest ever gift is quite simply LIFE.”
Jinnah never deviated from his meticulous and forceful principles of ideals. His curt and brusque behaviour was his key to success. Even till his last breath, he did not vain from his command and control. Let us not destroy Jinnah’s legacy. We see people talking, debating, brainstorming and holding seminars as to how can the disarrayed youth be put back on track. Keeping all this in mind I carried out a study and interacted with the youth and tried to find the cause and a possible solution to their dismal state of mind. Is the youth to be blamed? Or, have they deviated from their path? Is there a solution to their problems? I was reminded of a modern poet’s words Barry Mowles:
“Our modern world is changing, and everyone is busy blaming the youth today,
But how can we blame the future, when it was us who made their world this way.
Our street corners are full, that our children think it is okay to walk into the darkness with a knife. When did we stop teaching our kids that the greatest ever gift is quite simply LIFE.”
It was very disturbing to see what have we done to our youth? When did they diverge from traditional prescriptions to which the older generation was much attached as (Feuer-1964) puts it as “Conflict of Generations”. There was a time when student’s interest in social problems led to their involvement in politics. They became a part of the pressure groups thinking that their role in politics would stimulate a social and political change within the society. But: That did not turn out to be so.
“Psychological warfare involves the planned use of propaganda and other psychological operations to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behaviour of opposition groups. RAND has studied military information support operations (MISO) in many countries and war zones and has provided objective and supportable recommendations to policymakers on methods and tactics to employ or defend against these operations”- (RAND ORG: quote)
The most prime things which we should not forget are the infiltration of external powers and our neighbouring countries to fund and indoctrinate our youth. They started targeting through Psychological warfare with crafty manoeuvring by engaging our political elite from different parties. They injected the venom of radicalism and sectarianism artfully “playing with their heads”. Starting from ‘Muslim Students Federation’ to’ Islami Jamiat e Talaba Pakistan’ trickling down to ‘The Youth Parliament ‘today. Many segments of students played in the hands of this evil and some started disassociating on their own. The ones who chose the path of the less travelled road ended up in a compound where the only thing missing was a Beacon. No leader. No light. The tortures and perils which they faced alone, taught them to survive on their own. The biggest mishap here was that they got distant from their families, whilst living under the same roof. Not to dig deeper into more details, the gist of the matter is that today social media has taken over the already confused minds where Liberalism was not an antidote but was used to play against the state as I said before’ Playing with their heads’ was one touch away.
No sooner the society criticised them probably thinking they suffer from Cognitive Dissonance. As this was not the case. The youth was far away from such a syndrome. The youth had seen so much of indifference that they are far from being emotional. Talking to them personally it was not a surprise that the youth felt a vacuum of leadership. They want results. They suffer from a huge trust deficit. They do not trust ‘anyone’. Here the word anyone means ‘none’…They refuse to contribute to the society socially, morally and emotionally. They feel cheated. They do not understand the strategic decisions taken in favour of the country for a calculated better tomorrow. They say ‘ours is today. If our today is hopeless, who has patience for tomorrow’?
My rebuttal with them, with all my reasoning powers, seemed all in vain. I felt they are confused into forced compliance and want to stick to their own goals, which only relates to them. Society is like a cult to them. They were not directionless but have stopped believing in ‘Pied-Pipers’ as they see Pakistan through their own lens. They very clearly see the inefficiency of the institutional structure. As they call it ‘Coalition of all elites, an alliance of various institutions of the State which are the political, religious, bureaucratic, judiciary and even military.’ Specifically, they look down upon electronic media as they say it profits itself for their vested interests. They do not watch television but would rather watch YouTube. They don’t care about talk shows. Sad to say that even the Ramadan shows are for money making in this month too?
THE UNHEARD VOICES: I was in a state of shock to see how mature and mentally stable they are. They have a voice but no one is ready to hear them. They want to stand against the corrupt system across the board. They see no light, no Savior and neither are expecting any miracle. They are certainly not suffering from Cognitive Dissonance. They have been marred by internal cues which are so weak and confusing that they can only see themselves as an external observer.
If we are not worried today we will regret if we want them to feel something about themselves, first get them to do it. Their views are not obstinate but strong. We need to call the views into doubt by giving disconfirming examples: The youth believe what they see; beware their beliefs getting in the way of truth. If today I give a call to my fraternity, they have nothing to give back but criticism. They seize to understand the viewpoint of the youth. I am scared of an idea and hope our youth’s quietness in their souls is not a dormant catastrophe and would erupt when we all least expect it.
This is not what Jinnah wanted to see today. It’s not late maybe we could help them regain the lost treasure of trust. But for that, we will have to look from their vantage point. As one Youth said to me, “Something Drastic, Something Big, Can move us now!” If the dormant inside them wakes up what will happen? Pull up your socks institutions, the day they bulldoze you will be fast asleep. Although the following quote of Jinnah was for guidance of students: We need to implement it first…
“Development is being sought in every walk of life and you have to take on this process of development. Are you preparing to take on tomorrow’s responsibilities? Are you building your capacity? Are you trained enough? If no, then go and prepare yourself because this is the time to prepare you for future responsibilities.”
HARSHEST TRUTH: “Have you got what it takes?” If we are ever asked that question, our first reaction is often one that involves questioning if our faith in our abilities has been misplaced. Perhaps someone has a valid reason to question whether or not we are up to the job. They could be reaping the benefits of having adopted a positive outlook in the face of adversity.
The biggest discord that exists is the disconnection between the youth and the ruling elite. The connection does not exist at all. They do not see the “iconic” figures interacting with them on any platform. “When there is no bond between the so-called ‘Contractors’ of Democracy. Why should the youth care to even listen to them? The military is untouchable, Judiciary is sellable, Media is a liar, and to top it all Politician is the father of all evils” said a brilliant youth.
Jinnah, this is not what should have happened. We apologise to you ‘Jinnah’ that we left our youth as “spoils of war” and always revisited them as casualties. Where can we go to get their trust back? How can we make them thank you and respect you as the Father of the Nation? My head was in a spin and a feeling of vertigo engulfed me. STOP. Then everything stopped. Suddenly I could feel the rotation of the earth, the sound of the air, the sound of water splashing on the Ocean Creeks and most of all gravity, as so many things sprung up in my mind, so many ideas flickered as I walked towards my writing desk. There was a ‘Still Dust’ cloud all around in the air, blurring my vision and I started writing as my bleeding heart started flowing through my pen. Clueless and scattered thoughts of ‘from where to begin’… “What went wrong where?’ I found the cause of the Collapse of an Era, but still unable to find a solution— was I waiting for a Messiah or a Savior? But I knew whoever it will be, will come from the masses. Who will be ‘from’ the masses, ‘of’ the masses and ‘for’ the masses, not the elite…Someday…