By Nishthar Idroos –
Youth, the prime demography of any nation often associated with vibrancy, passion and promise. Aptly said to represent the future of a country, Sri Lanka no exception. Co-relation with the future vis a vis nation building and prosperity an undeniable fact, pontificated often in a desultory manner by politicians of all hue. Also not overlooking the emphasis of experts and pundits on the subject and for good reason too.
None can exist in the absence of the other, they’re mutually inclusive. A nation that fails to invest in the future of its youth doomed. Youth who refuse to learn and foster character, rectitude and discipline are also doomed.
In Sri Lanka youth especially those enrolled with government universities are more ideologically absorbed than academically disposed. Not something necessarily conducive for the future. An incomprehensible historical anomaly that continues to unfold horror stories. Recurring youth unrest, inhumane ragging, political pandemonium still dominate and hold sway.
A dubious malaise that has pretty much internationalized Sri Lanka. I was even once asked thousands of miles away from Sri Lanka about the gratuitous “wettings” .i.e. the infamous government sponsored baths our youth receive quite often when they are galvanized into moods of agitation and rebellion against the government. The khaki clad cordon of law enforcing officers descending on the boys spouting gutsy high velocity water shoots from pretty sophisticated cannons. The recurring government subsidized spectacle that’s now becoming a tourist attraction it seems.
Parents justifiably anticipating skilled, knowledgeable and well educated citizens at the end of the four year program are often surprised at their children turning out vocal and fist waving revolutionaries, castigating rulers in the backdrop of infamous sickle and hammer banners, reminiscent of a by gone era when all things in the neighbourhood was red.
A classic case of the irrecoverable stall of the left movement. Sent many to oblivion the tenacious ones held ground and took control of the universities. The duel of the ruling class and the proletariat class famously epitomized in these institutions. A casual stroll down roads where our universities are located you’re definitely bound to see plastered walls that speak volumes and tell many a tale. The wobbly march of so called people’s liberation continues at a cost.
And now quite a loud cackle for a country emerging as one of the fast developing countries with diverse human resource needs and not adequately responsive. Juxtaposition of private universities and business schools so necessary yet many a conspiracy woven to weaken efforts to deregulate higher education and enable long term health and sustenance to the economy.
How could statistics Sri Lanka data mine and extrapolate trends and projections of labor when chaos and turmoil reigns in institutions that actually produces brains and brawns? It seems pragmatism has been jettisoned for ideology by students. In the end the inevitable happens. Devoured by one of the multitude of “danavaadi” corporate sharks. The beard gone, long hair gone, guy now models for a TV commercial featuring a moisturizing cream for males.
For politicians to deal with it is suicidal hence successive governments pass the buck. The ideological inter-play and entanglement pretty mystifying. Let’s just keep the lid closed and continue is the official outlook.
In this back drop circulates a video clip of a fairly long duration of a young and possible university attending intelligent Sri Lankan girl boldly and beautifully looking at the camera and emphatically stating that Sri Lanka cannot be made right until and unless drastic changes are made. She even eludes that Sri Lanka long passed the threshold of no return. She cites many reasons for the malaise. A rational deduction worth listening to.
What got my attention was her audacious and courageous remarks revolving round shallow, superficial slogans and catchphrases of members of parliament and ministers including the president. She also alluded at vacuous and mendacious branding so easily noticeable and not taken seriously by the youth. She was referring hyped slogans like “Yahapalanaya” “Chintanaya” “Shine Sri Lanka” etc.
She takes many jibes at the ruling class and their abuse of power. Rational and powerful arguments. Pregnant with cynicism and resignation.
Youth constitute a substantial part of Sri Lanka’s population. Just under five million or just under 25 percent. Sri Lankan youth have often been the focus of public attention many a time for the ‘wrong’ reasons. They need solid leadership and there are none to give it.
The country needs someone to initiate the shampooing, scrubbing, sterilization and sweeping. The sooner it’s done the better it will be for the country.
Nations who were lagging far behind are steadfastly moving ahead. In Vietnam ideological slavery was sacrificed for economic prudence and reforms were modelled partly on China, and on the experience of countries like Singapore and South Korea. This has improved many things Like the Chinese, most Vietnamese seem more focused on trying to attain more comfortable living standards enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty through.
Considering the earth shattering corruption of the two frontline parties the JVP no doubt has a great opportunity to capitalize and march forward if only they would compromise on ideology and fashion themselves on the lines of any of the aforesaid countries.