Not lined up for action

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Arshid Malik

I have slipped out of youth into old age too suddenly. Hair greying fast, teeth deteriorating at an excellent pace, “old age” diseases and ailments aptly in place and with my memory playing hide and seek with me, I figuratively am the epitome of a mid-life crisis. It is really hard for me to carry myself ahead with a bouncy stride that is so very symbolic of youth. I confess to myself, every night I go to bed and every morning I wake up that I am old now. And for my actual age, I have aged too fast. It would be bona fide to quote the same for other people of my age here in Kashmir who I know and have known. They all seem to be growing old too fast. I am not offering any clues here, for I figure that all of you out there may well be able to tell the causes.
It is time for the new stock to take over. But that is my point of worry also. The new generation, the new stock of youth is so very atrophied and invisible. We did our jig when we were young but the current generation of young people is just too far beyond the verve. Schooling, certificates and jobs are okay, but is the present generation of youth growing up easy, is my question.
The youth have disappeared off the roads and pavements and are growing old like me in the incandescence of a tumultuous past and an indifferent future. It is a social relapse which may carry broader economic concussions for our society.
The older generation that is the parenting lot is happy with the induced factuality that they have done their bit by sending their wards to good schools and subscribing to direct to home cable television. They are not at fault as a matter of fact for they are seeped deep into worries about the safety of life itself as distinctively the looming threat to life and property has not waned yet. The administration at the State level has been too busy attempting to maintain a straight face and stay in power even though some nibbled hopes were pinned on the present man in the chief minister’s chair for he is himself formidably young, but he too failed at delivering on this vital front.
Twenty years down the line I see young men with receding hairlines waiting out the traffic signals as if that was the only estimable thing they were born to do!
We, the older generation, have not been able to do much for ourselves but perhaps we can help out the new stock in shaping up for a better tomorrow. We can seize the moment and catch up with our brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends still. We can show them the way and while the government is busy creating “opportunities for recruitments”, we could lead the young generation to not believe the make-believe world of consumer culture. We need to create forums and societies for arranged dialectical discourses for our youth and keep the growing socially disengaged and unhealthy cultism at bay.
Besides, I have always believed in the axiom that “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves” and would therefore encourage the youth of Kashmir to learn to take their share. The youth should come ahead as an organized lot and participate actively in the political, social and economic discourses of the society.

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About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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