The problems of youth vary from country to country. The problems of the youth in the developed countries are different from those of the developing ones. Pakistan is a developing country struggling hard to combat poverty to raise income per capita for improving the living standard of the people. Pakistan is plagued with the number of socio-economic problems, which exert its own pressure are pulled on the youth. The youth cannot remain unaffected by the multi-problems confronting the country. Hence an attempt is made to discuss the problems of the youth in the light of the socio-politico changes obtaining the country.
There is widespread corruption in the country. It is visible in every walk of life. Corruption, bribery, favoritism, and jobbery have emerged out as dominant social evils that are gradually eating into the vitals of the nation. Cases of corruption in different departments are highlighted by the electronic mass media, which indicate the national body politic having been infested with the ugly germs of these social maladies. The concept of righteous living appears to have disappeared from the lives of the people, the rich, and the poor. In short, corruption emerges out as the negative practical ideology of life in Pakistan.
The youth is advised by the leaders and the religious leaders to avoid corruption in life and instead adopt honest of means to lead life. That is a good piece of advice tendered to the youth by all and sundry. But the tragedy of the time is that the youth is overtly or covertly exposed to the corruption, which it finds the most ‘accepted’ creed both at the individual and collective levels. Political leaders and clerics wear the livery of Christ and appear before the youth as the savior and defender of morality and Islam. But, in fact, they themselves suffer from great immoral imperfection. The youth discuss the hidden motives and are least impressed by the moral sermons delivered by the political as well as religious leaders.
Pakistani society is a sea of contradictions in different fields. The youth is made to believe that ‘might is right’ is the most detestable creed of life. Yet the youth observes that it is prevalent in every walk of life. The society has done nothing to create a bulwark against the pernicious doctrine, as it continues to prevail with full force in society. The feudal landlord can harass the hari, the industrialist can suppress the labor, without any impurity. In short, the youth stands exposed to the pernicious doctrine. In an environment characterized by the prevalence of ‘right is might’, the youth cannot have belief in the reverse of the doctrine ‘right is might’. When the society practically is the practitioner of the pernicious doctrine, it is somewhat futile to expect the youth to opt for ‘right is might’. The youth unconsciously shows learning for the creed ‘right is might’ which influences the conduct of people of different shades. In short, the youth is fed with glaring contradictions of life.
The youth is exhorted to uphold the rule of law and the regime of merit. The youth at the practical level sees no demonstration of this principle. Those who wield power in one way or the other, are ‘privileged’ to break the law. The sovereignty of law exists on paper which is observed by the youth with its critical eyes.
Pakistan has had the experience of facing a number of martial laws since October 1958, which threw law to winds rather in a violet manner. The martial laws either abrogated the constitution of the country or held it in abeyance. The martial administrators promulgated their own ‘Law’ of graft and plunder. The constitution which is the most sacred document became unsacred at the hands of the military rulers. The military rule promoted many evils of diverse nature. The youth has been witnessing thus ghastly phenomenon and cannot remain an idle spectator. In short, theoretically speaks there is a rule of law as the constitution is very much operative. The military symbolizing might could torpedo the constitution any time to realize its ambition of rule. These are sickening developments exercising a depressing influence on the mind of the youth. The youth is constrained to believe that it is not law but the power which is the undeclared constitution in Pakistan. One may call it the dilemma of the youth in Pakistan.
Politicians in power care little about merit. They isolate the norms of merit. The government of Sind as per the report of the electronic media has promoted under serving officials to the next higher grades to shoulder higher responsibility. The violation of merit is tantamount to establishing a regime of expediency. Both the civil and military rules are proof to commit demerit, thereby causing frustration and disappointment among the youth. People expect the civilian government to promote merit in the larger interests of democracy. The civilian governments must come out of their political expediencies and through their weight with rule of law and merit. A society based on demerit sooner or later succumbs to perishability. Pakistan is to face rigors of competition in the 21st century. Above all, it would open channels to the utilization of the talent of the poor. The youth must be conveyed the sense of justice by upholding the norms of merit. The youth must be allowed to develop a sense of despondency and disappointment. The youth is to be kept away from these undesirable tendencies.
The youth in Pakistan, especially the poor, is aghast to see the boys/girls belonging to the privileged families, getting the education in English medium schools, with the most expensive fee structure. The poor receive education in public managed schools where the quality of education is not dished out. The boys/girls hailing from the rich elite classes thus have an advantage of their poor counterparts in doing well in competitive examination. The difference in the quality of education attracts the attention of the youth, which creates an impression of two Pakistan’s: one for the privileged and the other for the underprivileged. Both the rich and the poor must be afforded equal opportunities for educational development. The discrimination between English and Urdu medium schools must be done away within the interest of national solidarity. It is a sour area that should draw the attention of the planners at the highest level. The youth is bound to be influenced by the step-motherly treatment meted out to the poor. The talent of the poor mostly remains unutilized because of the lack of equal opportunities for development. It is the job of the government to upgrade the quality of education, especially in public-managed schools, and ensure uniformity of instruction in all institutions.
The young men, especially coming of poor families and holding the highest academic degrees in their hands, are frustrated to get employment suiting their qualifications. Unemployment, especially among the educated, has grown to be a serious problem in Pakistan. It is a source of social instability. The young men who fail to seek unemployment, are tempted to join the anti-social elements in society to earn their living. The public sector lately has shrunk in size and cannot offer job opportunities to young men. Education and health were the largest sectors to provide employment to the young men at the provincial level. Lately, the contract system has been introduced, which constricts the chances of employment. So unemployment continues to haunt the young men in Pakistan. Top of all, favoritism mars the chances of the deserving, the talented. It breeds frustration among the young men who are deprived of chances of employment because they do not enjoy the patronage of some influential political element. It has created a very situation in Pakistan. Unemployment has assumed menacing proportions, especially for the educated class. The predicament of the youth is that it does not find opportunities for employment in Pakistan. Especially for ordinary graduates, postgraduate, it is difficult to yet employment in the private sector, which is demanding of specialized, technical labor. Obviously it would necessitate changes in the existing system of education, which leans heavily on the art side. The existing trend in the market is now discouraging students to study subjects on the humanity side, which have little prospects of offering employment to the really talented at the provincial/federal levels.
The competent, the talented could hope to secure jobs in various government departments.
It is relevant to quote an extract from Shamshad Ahamd’s books titled ‘Dreams unfulfilled’, recently released, which runs as “The vision of a democratic and progressive Pakistan was unambiguously articulated in a resolution adopted at the first meeting of the Council of the Pakistan Muslim League in December 1947 when it pledged, to work for an ideal democratic state based on social justice, as an upholder of human freedom and world peace in which all citizens will enjoy equal rights and be free from fear, want, and ignorance. “ Post-independence developments run in direction. The values, for which Pakistan was demanded, stand immaterialized. No egalitarian society based on Islamic Adl (Justice) has been established in Pakistan. The poor people are driven from pillar to post for getting justice, which most, unfortunately, has become like a saleable commodity. Justice has to be purchased. Rule of law based on the respect of the constitution is conspicuous by its absence, though lately owing to the independence of the judiciary; signs are visible for the dispensation of justice. The youth opens its eyes in the presence of myriad social evils, and unconsciously stands bewildered. It wishes to utilize its talent for the good of society but doesn’t find outlets to do so. The older generation has to share the blame, which could not found a society on social/ economic justice to bring about a qualitative change in the lives of people, as envisioned by the founding fathers.
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