17 April, 2024


Youth Incoherence & Apathy 

By Nishthar Idroos

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.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Who listen to the youths? Despite their sense of sincerity . Their agitations are simply ‘watered down’ by water cannons and rubber bullets.

  • 1

    Very good arguments. There are too many people believing in entitlements across the world. Perhaps if there are rules to say, if you do not attend classes and pass your exams, you will be on academic probation and then be expelled it can make a difference? Political awareness vs activism for the sake of activism is different. We do not notice that much activism, strikes, lightning boycotts of classes much in the Science, Math, Engineering, Medical faculties. It is mostly the useless Arts, Aesthetics, History, Political science types who get the free education who agitate. They get FREE education from cradle to grave and love the handouts.

    They are also the JVP Sinhala types and LTTE type Tamils on campus who show class envy and humiliate with vile ragging(not mild hazing) and sexually explicit physical abuse type Ragging. Because they are jealous of students wearing jeans or speaking english. It is a typical class envy situation for them. Like those who attack people on this forum about caste or other personal insults and personal envy issues and deviate from the topic. I say bring rules and enforce them. If they all go on strike, expel them. If their parents had to pay at least a small cost, they will not waste so much time. JVP types suffer massive inferiority complexes. That is the problem. Everything is some entitlement or “Diyaw, Palayaw, Diyaw” Give Get out Give strikes.

  • 3

    Ragging in the universities and any other places should be banned and the perpetrators punished.
    The Youth needs to tell the current corrupt rulers to become clean and undertake development activities without bribery etc.
    JVP and straight thinking public need to mobilise the general public about the ills of our country and take measures

  • 0

    Your article is very vague and is not worth commenting. I say those girls are very stupid and very Naive. They may have gone to the university. University is just getting educated in some specific subjects. Knowledge about the world, what to do and what not to do is different. One girl talk about TRIBAL society. I say she is very stupid. Most probably, the present youth screw up their lives to the fullest and in their old age they become very mature. They are simply young and stupid. Those who become suspicious and late to catch the wave will win. These girls who are riding the wave will lose.

  • 0

    In your video clip, for thee woman who uses the word TRIBAL society, she thinks, apparently, the modern society of SEX, DRUGS, BOOZE, Pain killers, sleeping tablets, social media, Selfies seems to be the norm. but she is very stupid. One came to the university or passed the degree does not mean she will excel in life. Particularly, In Sri lanka, life is a very much a struggle. Nishthar IDROOS is from Canada. You know how smart children are doing it and how stupid children are doing it. Most of the Sri lankan youth and adults comes under stupid kind. So, what I say to these youth and Adults, HIT THE WALL AND COME BACK.. YOu Might survive or you will be history. saying I did that wrong and this wrong.

  • 1

    The country must be put into the right track & the argument that it can’t be is discouraging.

    The youths’ argument (in the video, probably undergraduates) stressing that the foundation, on which the country is lying is weak isn’t quite true; it reflects only lack of enthusiasm & commitment to do so.

    Though with challenges, country had negotiated with the world quite successfully until the recent times but the frustrating factor is people tolerated too much of corrupt nature of politicians.

    One of the mistakes in our people/politicians was changing the constitution dramatically without a demand by the people, in 1970 or especially in 1977, by over ambitious regime tempted by the unexpected power vested upon them went on to change the constitution.

    It wasn’t the need of the people for constitutional changes but the frustration of the people, who had been overly pressurized by Sirimawo Bandaranayake government, voted for the UNP with 5/6 power, which was miscalculated by JRJ to make all these negative developments.

    The JR made free economy without discipline, made the concept that money @ any expense, paved the way for this corrupt nature of this country.

    JR’s mismanagement of relationship with India & being over loyal to the west contributed vastly to the fast uprising of separatism of which results we’re still experiencing.

    Our ability to go back, @ least to 77, with a parliament with just 100 MPs & probably with no or least number of PCs on non-racial basis without a president as we’re having now will put the country back on right track.

    We don’t have to do; we have to undo only.

  • 1

    The ragging should be stop what is limit of ragging its going to extreme to get more fun, ( Types of Ragging) if the concerns do not stop think one of your future sons will be in trouble, traditionally ragging is reflecting it is to socialization , eg Fed by a feeding tube inserted through her nose, an is battling for her life & ended , & many cases of violent ragging go unreported. ended dropping school.

  • 2

    University youths (undergraduates) are most often misguided by the political hooligans making use of the youths as scapegoats to achieve their personal goals. Undergraduates should be guided to make the good use of academic resources such as libraries and academics during their undergraduateship studies. Universities should work hand in hand with the external institutions to work out employment opportunities for the students once they pass out. Engineering faculties of Moratuwa and Peradeniya are working hand in hand with the big guns in telecommunications and software companies to secure employment opportunities which is commendable. But unfortunately for science, commerce, and arts faculties are facing a big challenge to find employment opportunities. University Grant Commission should seriously look into this issue to find a solution.

  • 2

    Bring in the new 20th Amendment to our Constitution
    Bring in the Secular country
    Bring in ALL 3 languages as official Languages
    Bring in a Parliament with less number of MPs who are Educated and beyond corruption
    Bring in where Religious monks/Priests aren’t allowed to dabble in politics
    Etc Etc

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