Red, White and Black

24 April, 2006, 3:26 pm
Filed under: general, Pakistan

Warning: mindless rambling to follow.

The question under discussion is why is the youth of today marked with strong sense of apathy and indifference? I mean it's everywhere. The youth is rarely concerned about what is going on around them. Some would say that the youth is trapped in this virtual fantasy world of his making. This world where he is happy with an Internet connection, a cable TV  and a group of friends. If he is serious about his studies, then its all about the grades and doing well at school. But what about the world beyond? Is he even aware of the social problems? I would say, hardly.  And even he is – there is such apathy, such indifference. Is concerned about remedying the situation? Where is youth activism? Why is it totally absent in our society? The urban youth of today is nothing more than a couched potato. period. Actually, the unurbanised youth is no better either. Yes, he may have to struggle just to make his ends meet – but he is hardly concerned about the social evils that plague society. Perhaps, the larger picture is lost in context of the everyday struggles. And that's that. 

I know that the sense of belonging to society is there. I saw the urban youth in action after the October earthquake last year, the unurbanised youth taking to the streets over the cartoon row. They are there. Yet, they are silent. I don't understand why. But then who am I to question? I am part of the same dangerous and rotting milieu. Someone told metoday that we don't have youth volunteerism in our society and that we lack the very basis of collective action. Couldn't argue against it. Exceptions are there, but….

This doesn't bode well for our society. The average age of a Pakistani is 19.8 years and the average Pakistani is only getting younger So there are more impressionable minds around in this rot. Maybe we do need a revolution. And a major one at that.

Heck, why is it so difficult even to initiate change? Let alone, bring about change.




17 Comments so far
Leave a comment

“Heck, why is it so difficult even to initiate change? Let alone, bring about change”


Oh btw, the ‘apathy and indifference’ has existed since eons. As the will to change things under the apathy and indifference – it takes a visionary/leader (or a set of them) to bring the will to change out of the shadow. Most major historical revolutions and events have shown that, havent they?

Comment by sukhi

True. My only fear is that if we continue waiting for a leader, we may be beyond redemption as a society. Change has to come now.

Comment by ayesha

we are a lazy nation since forever. not to mention selfish
national qualities if u may say.

Comment by maria

Volunteerism is an outward manifestation of a caring and empathetic mind. The spirit of volunteerism has been waning in this past decade, at least in the place where I am. The US was always on the top of the charts where charity, entrpreneurship, cutting edge research, and volunteerism were concerned. But no more; in the last few years we have shown a decline in all of these areas. As far as volunteerism goes:
The 60 year old firestation in my neighborhood was manned by volunteers ever since its inception; all services were top notch and offered with a sense of giving back to the community. However, this past year that changed; the people manning the firestation could no longer afford to volunteer time and now the township has had to replace them with paid employees! The message there is : volunteerism is directly proportional to the health of the economy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the other four areas I mentioned earlier were also connected with the economic well being of a nation. Apathy could be just a facade.

Comment by IMeMy


I am not sure about the economic link that you mention. If the society is in dire straits, economically and otherwise, then shouldn’t its members be more concerned about it? Ought it not to inspire a stronger will to reverse the tide?

Or is it resignation speaking?

Comment by ayesha

With the economy in doldrums each one is for himself; society gets obsessed with a spirit of competitiveness where each individual is trying to pull in whatever little he can get in order to keep afloat. In this frame of mind, empathy becomes a feeling from another planet! Economic pressures take a big toll on the morality/ the ethics of any society.

Comment by IMeMy

Hmmm, a late comment maybe, but still wanted to say something. This isn’t just seen in your country Ayesha. It’s seen globally!

Maybe it’s because we have never had a call to what we need to beckon! It’s a time of peace. People everywhere are in the process of upgrade. The world itself is in the process of an upgrade.

Yes, societal evils are present. Yet, you do realise that slowly, whether it’s the urban or the unurban youth, we are all reaching a point where in things are becoming easier for us to live in. As long as that continues, the youth would rather gloat in the same.

I used to think about the same about the Indian youth. We weren’t ready to take risk and go against the system [not that I preach anti-establishment tendencies]. However, there were certain aspects of the Government, which do nag the youth in India.

I am just happy, thanks to the “reservation” protest, at least our generation is answering to its reckoning today.

I am happy to see such solidarity amongst the youth today to go publicly against an outrageous stupidity by the Government. Completely overshadows any “secular” claim of India. They have gone overboard and even given it a name – casteism. How derogatory!!

Anyhoo, getting back to the main theme, I agree with Sukhi! Our generation is on a search to look for a new idol, a role model of our times, who knows what we talk about, know what our problems are etc.. The works!

Comment by Guru Panguji

I am not sure if we all should be waiting for a role model, so to speak. That idol may never materialise, then what? Do we just continue waiting as it is?

I don’t think so. Each and everyone of us has to play their own role. Cliched as it may seem – but when the call beckons us, we have to respond and not just wait for a leader. One of us will have to step up. I don’t know – maybe it’s about figuring out, if all of this really matters to us. All of this sounds wishy-washy, we talk about it, we blog and the likes. But hardly, do we end up doing something about it. At the end of the day – that doing something is what matters, ain’t it? Maybe, we do need issues like the “reservation” problem to wake us up. But something’s gotta give.

Comment by ayesha

Reread it, my take is that I have observed people, be it youth or adults, come to action out of neccessity or out of empowerment. Since the lack of dire neccessity is present in our society, I think people will come forth when they feel empowered, and they only feel that when they think they have a stake in the venture. So, if you can change the collective psyche one person at a time to acknowledge that every one has a stake then you can tackle apathy from one corner. Well, there are other corners and other stragegies. Don’t need to wait for a role model, be one yourself. You have already highlighted this approach in your religion and self enlightenment blogs. Agreed??

Comment by afzaal

lol, Ayesha, when you stand around long enough, what you say will occur. The trick is in standing around long enuf.

and someone will step up, whether its you, is for you to decide – and for luck to favour.

blogging isnt wishy-washy, because it records. Anything recorded matters.

Comment by sukhi

@Afzaal: ageeed.

@sukhi: so it’s better to wait for a leader to emerge? what if everyone is playing it out. someone has to take the initiative. why take the easier way out?

call me a cynic, but blogging doesn’t bring about change. at the most it can be credited with developing a consciousness. but even that happens at a very restricted level. what’s the audience one has as a blogger?

Comment by ayesha

Ayesha, if you think waiting is easy, you probably have never had to wait for something important. Waiting is not the easiest way out. Besides, I dint ask you to wait, or wait forever, even. To each his/her own.

Besides, I believe its Keynes who said that in the long run we’re dead. 🙂

Blogging doesnt bring out about, change? really? Why do I see the WAPO or the NYT or Indian media following(and suing at times) them? Why did blogs reach people better than other media networks for information during say, the tsunami?

You underestimate the power of one. Is it better to have one committed person reading your blog than a thousand people who really come in here – read a bit – and just forget about it by the time they’re thru?

you know what the best advertising weapon is? word-of-mouth. So even if you have 1 committed reader – and if that person spreads the word – things change.

Comment by sukhi


Its not the empowered who come forth, its the ones who feel powerless, and hopeless even.

Comment by sukhi

Sukhi, eerrr I will cocncede that we are right both on the point, depends on the particular case, I mean how much is stake for the powerless. They will come out only when the stakes are really high, but the empowered will come out for most occasions. My take, “BEING POWERLESS LEADS TO APATHY!” Will you dispute this empathic statement??

Comment by Afzaal

yes, I would disputed that statement.
Empowered people do not come out and protest – or work for change 3/4ths of the time or more. They CAN live with status quo.

powerless people almost always come out. They CANNOT live with staus quo ante.

Comment by sukhi

I differ on that outlook, but I will cease here at this juncture.

Comment by afzaal

wasnt gonna continue either.


Comment by sukhi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: