Kashmiri Youth: Beyond Modi and Mufti
The policy planners, opinion leaders and academics are working on issues basic to youth and their empowerment. Many valuable reports have been produced by think tanks in different countries enumerating the aspirations and problems of youth.
In Kashmir, for a variety of reasons, youth-related concerns have found expression in the policy statements and manifestos of political parties. In this column I have been advocating that mission youth is essentially mission Kashmir.
The mere numerical strength of this core segment of society will determine the destiny of our region. I am sanguine that the future of Kashmir shall be defined by the young who will be potential game-changers. The cohesion of society depends upon our commitment to the cause of youth as the core value for nation-building.
The whole country is watching in a dreadful manner angry youth – giving vent to their rage over the Modi government’s Agnipath scheme. The fact is that youth have simply stopped looking for jobs in a jobless economy.
According to World Bank data, less than one in four Indians aged 15-24 now participate in the labour force and 25 percent of youth job-seekers can’t find work. In these troubled times, the youth need to understand the power of democracy and pluralism and develop faith in the principle of unity in diversity.
The pluralist order can lead to peace and help in building a sound economy. The empowerment of the youth is the basic requirement for domestic social equilibrium. Mutual discord, hatred and rage among people particularly the young results in social disharmony and terrible descent into chaos.
We need a policy environment that is conducive to risk-taking about the future that can also inspire confidence among people. Lord Keynes called it ‘animal spirits which guide buyer and seller spirits.
The youth and their determination and dynamism can prove transformational if we properly address their problems. Pluralism as the framework of governance can prove useful if we involve them in the task of reconstruction, rehabilitation, reconciliation and resolution. We need to have a partnership with youth at all levels.