Adapting to change, agreeing to a new philosophy or taking risks are the ideas which appeal to the young masses the most. In the case of Pakistani youth, many of our influences come from either the pre-partition subcontinent, or the media or our education systems; though a wide majority might also be inspired by legacies like Iqbal, Johar, etc., and connect with the Ummah, but at times, the youth seems aloof. To understand the thought process and evolution of youth, it is important to understand the background of these influences.
Various ideologies have tried to present different worldviews in philosophical ways, which if accepted by the masses, materializes to take the form of their reality and ideals. This acceptance varies from individual to individual on the basis of cultural, social and religious choices. Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Nationalism, Liberalism and other political ideologies are some known examples.
Man-made systems and theories are imperfect. Ideologies, too, are mortal. The life of an ideology depends on the extent of its survival against the test of time. Ideas require an element of persuasion, which itself greatly relies on the leap of faith. Therefore, in a case where belief and believers both are variable and relative entities, it’s difficult to find equations with constants, except in the divine laws.
Pakistan was formed on the ideology of لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله, meaning there is no God but Allah and Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is His Messenger; an ideology so powerful that it persuaded millions of Muslims to leave their fears, lives and belongings for the Creator and his Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him), and take one of the greatest risks in human history. Unfortunately, after the achievement of Pakistan, its youth failed to set a clear goal in accordance with the ideology that motivated such mass migration.
Pakistani youth is divided into urban and rural population. These two had a wide perception-divide between them before the advent of electronic and social media. Factors such as poverty, weak education systems, motivations and religious values have been the main criteria for this divide. A society moves from dependent ideas to independent ones and then, eventually, achieves a state of interdependence and fearlessness, where one holds their own opinion, listens to and understands the others’ say and yet is powerful enough to work with one another as a community for a definitive goal.
In our case, the Urban and Rural perception evolutions may be taking a course different from one another, but in my view, they are not heading towards a different destination. There is an irregularity of pattern, visible because of the difference in paths, not the destination.
Perceptions in the society are conditioned and re-conditioned with the help of electronic media, social media and education systems. The urban population has its own motivations, religious values and social conditions while the rural ones have their own. These three factors, during the process of their self-evolution, are leading the Rural and Urban population through the states of dependency, independence and then interdependence in their own unique way. Though controversial, but a blessing in disguise; we now have common grounds between the Urban and Rural populations, bridging our differences.
Ideas born out of human weaknesses such as poverty, religious ignorance, foreign influences and social pressure come with an expiry date. Pakistani youth is on the course of outgrowing the weak ideas of sectarian, racial and ancient differences. The common enemy inspires us to come together every day. We are now witnessing the Pakistani youth raising questions regarding their rights, protesting in the streets demanding answers, poor people daring to think differently despite the feudal system and miserable lifestyle; people are thinking whether we are really free or not?
These are the things we did not witness in a long time. The birth of these questions in the society indicates how the immune system of our youth’s mindset is becoming alive to counter the alien viruses that have sucked on its blood since long. The enemy always resists, because it has survived long enough to persuade itself that it is a part of the system. This false belief eventually dies, as falsehood, by its nature, is bound to perish.
Our nation has a history of throwing out false invaders with an impulsive flux of emotion and strength, which comes out after a lengthy era of silence, oppression and compromise. Call it liberal, conservative, nationalist or any other label, but the youth is now awake and it is only a matter of time that things begin to change. Labels may vary, but the root remains لَاإِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله