Home » Featured Blocks » It’s Time to Tame the Youth

It’s Time to Tame the Youth

It’s Time to Tame the Youth

By: Rabia Aslam

So, Priyantha Kumara’s body was laid to rest. Another story, another accusation, another victim but the claim is the same, he had committed a heinous and unpardonable act of blasphemy. He had to bear the brunt of his thoughtlessness and certainly, he did. Mob killing over the accusation of blasphemy is very common in Pakistan.   Like many, Priyantha had also moved to Pakistan to earn bread for his family. Never, ever in his wildest dreams, he would have thought that his kins would pay such a heavy price for believing that they are in safe havens. Priyantha was working as a manager in a sports equipment factory, who was beaten to death and later set ablaze, by a mob for allegedly ripping off placards with sacred names on them. The preparators were no other than the young coworkers of the same factory he was at. This bestiality has been condemned at a governmental and non-governmental level including PM Imran Khan, COAS, religious scholars and clerics all over Pakistan. The prime minister deemed it “horrific vigilante attack” also termed it a “a day of shame for Pakistan”. Tahir Ashrifi khan’s adviser on interfaith harmony also lambasted the act of brutality. But, it’s not only this incident that has raised the fears. What’s more alarming is where we are moving as a society. The recent chain of events bespeaks that radicalization is taking its roots in our people, especially the youth. If such a violent show of power is not halted, it may breed more such calamities like Sialkot.

Efforts at the governmental and community level must be fueled up to empower the vision of a balanced and rational youth

If taken a closer look at the tragedy, it is seen that the mob consisted of young individuals. Many of them were dragging the body and throwing stones at him. Yet some others were chanting the slogans against him and even capturing the videos of this barbaric crime. There was no one among them who could stop them. One cannot term it “rage of emotions” in youth. It’s something they have grown up with. When a murderer is lionized as hero and his portraits are being displayed everywhere, when even the high-profile officials celebrate the victory of accused, when the release of suspects in the throwing of Christian couple in furnace is celebrated, when the students who killed Mashal Khan at university were let go free then its no wonder if the upcoming generation starts idealizing the very notions that have their roots in radicalization.

The Sialkot tragedy took place soon after the government conceded to demands of a religious group that had paralyzed the whole country and even was involved in killing of police officer and damaging property. This must have strengthened the stance of religious zealots and had further given reinforced hardliners. It is said allegedly that the violent mob was seen to be raising the slogans that were catchphrases of TLP. It is an alarming situation and if this evil is not nipped in the bud, a major catastrophe is not far away. The country will become a breeding ground for bigots and the campaign premier is moving to improve the image of the country would end in fiasco.

It is a very sensitive issue. The people are easily manipulated and enraged in the name of religion. So, a farsighted approach is needed to be employed. Such precedent should be set that the coming generations seek a lesson from it. Our young generation has grown up watching the culprits come out clean. There are incidences where radicals were released and they were showered with flowers and welcome with sweets. It is the generation where people satisfy their personal grudge under the garb of religion. So, our youth gets the main source of inspiration from individuals who are portrayed as heroes for sending someone to “jahanum (hell)”.  That is how they can earn “jannah”.

The need of the hour is that religious scholars take charge of Islamic teachings. The law of blasphemy needs to be translated in its true essence. Seemingly, it is very easy to accuse someone of blasphemy, put him to sleep forever and earn paradise. But practicing true spirit of Islam has become difficult for our young cult.  One must draw a clear dividing line between right and wrong. It is imperative to fight extremism at home first. The people especially the youth need to be guided in the right direction. The religious clerics can play a pivotal role in interpreting and reinterpreting the crux and teachings of Islam in the true sense. The educational reforms are also suggested so that the syllabus could inculcate the practice of tolerance in young ripe minds towards other sections of society. The violent extremism should be catered to, both, through formal and informal education. Efforts at the governmental and community level must be fueled up to empower the vision of a balanced and rational youth.

Pakistan is a fortunate country where 63% of the population consists of youth. It is the greatest asset of the country. We must think to utilize this asset in a way as to improve the image of the country at home and internationally. Participation of young women and men (especially from marginalized section) must be ensured in the process of peacemaking and their efforts must be sought to prevent any unthoughtful act. Space for personal growth of young men and women must be created by establishing monitoring programs that would direct them and provide them right offers and opportunities to be a constructive part of society. Meeting with religious scholars must be held so that the upcoming generation could be enlightened and guided in the light of the true meaning and message of Islam. They should be included in the process of decision-making at the national and regional level.

Defamation and derogatory remarks about Islam and Islamic Personals are by no way acceptable and any such remarks must be dealt with a strict rule of law. But it is also vital that false accusation of blasphemy must also not be tolerated and such individuals must be punished so that we learn the lesson and consequences of using religion as an excuse of getting rid of frustration. The Sialkot incident must be an eye-opener for us.  It is high time to consider where, as a society, we are leading our youth to. The ball is still in our court-we still have ample time to evolve and address the root cause of such practices. According to a survey, out of 63%, only 5% of youth is leaning towards extremism and violent use of power. We can take the strings of youth in our hands by providing them with enough opportunities to be a constructive part of the society. But all this requires personal and governmental will.

The writer is an educationist, content writer, and freelance columnist with nearly more than a decade of experience in the field of education. She is an eloquent commentator on women’s rights, education, peace and interfaith harmony. She can be reached at [email protected]

Source: The Day Spring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.