Kashmiri Youth: Beyond Modi and Mufti
Policy planners, opinion leaders and academics work on fundamental issues for young people and their empowerment. Many valuable reports have been produced by think tanks in different countries, listing the aspirations and problems of young people.
In Kashmir, for various reasons, the concerns of young people have found expression in political statements and manifestos of political parties. In this column, I have argued that the youth of the mission is basically the mission of Kashmir.
The numerical strength of this hard core of society alone will determine the destiny of our region. I am convinced that the future of Kashmir will be defined by young people who will be potential game changers. The cohesion of society depends on our commitment to the cause of youth as a fundamental value for nation building.
The whole country is staring horribly at an angry youth – venting its rage at the Modi government’s Agnipath scheme. The fact is that young people have simply stopped looking for work in a jobless economy.
According to World Bank data, less than one in four Indians between the ages of 15 and 24 are now in the labor force and 25% of young job seekers cannot find work. In these troubled times, young people need to understand the power of democracy and pluralism and develop their faith in the principle of unity in diversity.
Pluralistic order can lead to peace and contribute to building a healthy economy. The empowerment of young people is the basic condition of the domestic social balance. Mutual discord, hatred and rage among people, especially young people, lead to social discord and a terrible descent into chaos.
We need a political environment conducive to taking risks for the future, which can also inspire confidence in citizens. Lord Keynes called it “the animal spirits that guide the minds of buyers and sellers”.
Young people, their determination and drive can be transformative if we tackle their issues properly. Pluralism as a governance framework can prove useful if we involve them in the task of reconstruction, rehabilitation, reconciliation and resolution. We need to partner with young people at all levels.