It is repeated ad nauseum Lost generation in Pakistan that the youth will be the savior of the future and that this is the only reality to be accepted rationally. This assertion is made without realising that the previous generations have neither devised nor plotted a course of action that would equip the youth for discharging their responsibilities in tandem with expectations the nation harbours about them. It is very clear that the crucial absence of a prudent course of action has resulted in the youth of Pakistan going astray as is witnessed by countless incidents whereby their conduct has not fallen short of expectations but has actually indicated a serious dysfunctional aspect in it that is already proving extremely harmful. What is witnessed accordingly is a serious waywardness within the ranks of the younger generation and it is primarily responsible for creating an atmosphere of violence and chaos.
The most recent exposition of the rudderless conduct of the youth was their behaviour during the chaotic scenes witnessed in Lahore where large bodies of youth rampaged through the streets of the city virtually paralysing the city. The point to ponder here is that the youth was unconditionally lending its support to a cause that is purported and pursued by the members of the elder generation that has proven over the years that it cares for nothing but its limited and self-serving motive and goals. It is widely known that the older generation plays with the emotions of the youth and exploits it to its advantage. Unfortunately the youth appears to be singularly devoid of any rationality and easily gets carried away by the emotional sloganeering and carefully concocted propaganda that has created an intense polarisation within the polity.
Frustrated by the lack of advancement in their lives a large section of the youth has gone very hostile to the state and putting all treason aside is bent upon confronting its authority. The rebellious feeling generated by politically motivated narrative has taken a serious toll on the youth and has caused a situation of near anarchy that is depicting ominous signs of growing uglier by the day. Though the situation could be viewed from another angle and it is pointed out that the youth must fight to regain the spaces being denied to them. This argument is surely negative but when viewed in the backdrop of the lack of space in their lives that they think has been usurped by the state this reaction appears to be quite natural.
When analysed dispassionately it becomes clear that there are powerful segments in the country that would be highly satisfied with maintaining the status quo so that their dominance is not challenged. They think that sustained chaos suits their purpose and it appears that their aims are quite successful as the divisions in the polity are getting deeper by the day. They have succeeded in radicalising the youth rather than reconsidering the inflexible positions they have taken and by doing that they have already polarised society to the point where it has become difficult for ordinary people to extend common courtesies to people whose political views are opposed to theirs. It is widely accepted that such elements did not hesitate to perpetrate violence within the ranks of the social milieu as it suits their objectives. They actually want a mob and that is precisely what is happening now.
It is now visible to the rational actors who believe that the democratic electoral process, which is supposed to act as the safety valve for the public’s pent-up emotions remains in limbo in Pakistan and this may be why more people are feeling the need to act violently to assert their wishes in front of the state. In their war of narratives, they have sucked the youth in it as they want to subvert the very basis of the strength of the country. The malady suffered by the youth is definitely hazardous and may go a long way in keeping the country destabilised for long period of time as the youth have tremendous tenacity and strong durability. This situation will further increase the despondency amongst the younger generation and may give rise to more violent outbursts.
The stand-off in Lahore witnessed a vicious outpouring of anger by the youth that pitched the police force against them and indulged in free-for-all. With the passage of time the particular political narrative has sunk deeper within the youth that follow it unreservedly and apparently their attitude has considerably hardened. It seems certain that unless appropriate steps are taken to counter this particular narrative not only with a stronger substitute narrative but also with taking measures aimed at satisfactorily removing the difficulties experienced by the younger generation, there appears no prospect of curbing the violent streak in the young men and women of the country. TW