The role of young generation in brining innovative ideas to change the society in a positive way was discussed on the eve of 7th UNESCO youth forum where the topic was ‘how youth drive change’ in the society. They gathered a few significant incidents where we can see the unique examples of the current generation’s positive approach which drive change in the society.
These examples perfectly demonstrate the contribution of the youth towards a society through their latent talent. They are not only energetic to bring positive changes but are also determined to face any challenges that may try to stop them. Yet the ambiguity remains throughout this concept that before thinking ‘how’ youth drive change we need to ponder ‘when’ youth feel the urge of achieving something desperately or more particularly what exactly drives them to bring change. Throughout this paper I will argue that when a society becomes desperate to bring a certain change within it, change happens, and most of the time it is the youth who helps in bringing this change. Therefore it may be logical to state that there is always a cause that pushes the youth to go for a change, be it social or economic. Thus, in the context of mass level youth can(not) drive change until the society, norms, culture let them to do so.
When there exists virtually no problems in a society and everybody seems to be happy and content, there is no urge for the youth or anyone else for that matter to bring any change. But does that mean there are no brave and talented youth present in that peaceful society since no one is trying to bring any change? The point is, what part or group of a society will go for what kind of measures to bring what kind of change, it all depends on the surrounding conditions. The text gives us several development examples lead by youth from different regions, particularly from developing and underdeveloped countries.
If I may use the youth of Bangladesh to demonstrate an example, we can see that during the Liberation War of 1971, the youth of Bangladesh gained a worldwide and historical recognition for their courage and boldness. The need to free the nation from the evil grasps of the oppressing Pakistani government was a collective one and a very powerful one indeed. That is what drove the youth of that period to sacrifice their lives for their country. The urge to earn freedom was equally felt in them and it was the youth, without the help of whom, victory wouldn’t have been possible. On the contrary if we look at the youth of today’s Bangladesh and try to compare them with the youth of 1971 we see a pathetic and depressing image. The student politics which was at the forefront of everything that was great has now demoted to such lower heights that many compare student politics with gangs and organized crime. Student politicians of today are used as pawns by the dirty politicians for carrying out violent destructions.
Even though the readings give us an idea that the young generation is the only hope for a nation to go forward and achieve prosperity, we can see that the youth can be provoked by negative influence too and as a result they may turn into a destructive power causing the whole nation to suffer. Once more, it depends how the youth is being instructed by the social needs and desperations. Sometimes the youth becomes a blessing for a society while sometimes they can be a curse.
Musharat Mehejabeen Masters student of Development Economics South Asian University