By Atika Abbasi.
The present-day Pakistani generation has been the most privileged and self-motivated generation by far. It has seen quite turbulent and unbridled times in the history of Pakistan. This generation was brought up in the times when Pakistan was going through the lowest ebb of their politics, sports, arts and social demeanor. However, this generation has proved itself resilient and undefeated. The generation looked fiercely into the eyes of every hardship with unwavering confidence. The generation faced and tried to resolve problems in every walk of life, be it political turbulence, social issues, religious differences, sports decline or demise of arts in the country. The generation inherited the worst possible situation from every aspect.
Talking about politics, the previous generation dealt with dictatorship and sometimes supported it. They had a stumbling democracy which was intervened by martial law for few times. Further, the politicians were considered as corrupt figures. The masses avoided the responsibility of casting vote to elect their representatives. People were indifferent to the flaws in the political system. Rather, they considered these flaws inevitable and did not struggle to bring any change. On the other hand, the current generation not only recognized these political dilemmas but produced a stir in the system. The youth stood up to speak about dire issues of this country; they voice their opinion on corruption, rigging, qualification of their representatives and equality of all citizens. Current generation vowed to support democracy in its best shape; therefore, for the first time in the history, a government has completed its full tenure. Moreover, youth has also decided to make the system as fair as possible. In fact, it is also for the first time in history a sitting prime minister has been put to the question with regard to his moral integrity. A dictator has also been brought before the law, for the first time. Another sitting prime minister was disqualified when he tried to contempt the court when the court ordered him to reopen corruption cases against his president. Further, the transparency of electoral system has also been questioned by the youth.
Terrorism has been one of the dire problems of Pakistan. Basically, it has never been Pakistani but our forerunners plunged us into this unnecessary trouble. Once they realized that it is costing them an arm and a leg. They tried to counter-fight it by eschewing the nation from this unending war, but again they entangled themselves in the enigma of good and bad Taliban. We lost millions of valuable lives in this war. However, after sailing through most turbulent times, today, we have eventually reached in a decision-making position. We have decided to fight against terrorist sweepingly. The present-day generation not only encountered the vilest terrorism but confronted it with firm resolute and determination.
Although the political scenario has not totally been rectified, however, the youth has started to discern the imperfections. They are struggling to amend the flaws in the system. Now, the youth is more concerned and it has more consciousness about their rights. They have more awakening of their political responsibility as a citizen.
Moving from politics to society, many people believe that today’s society is more degraded than it was two or three decades earlier. However, I believe a contemporary generation has also evolved as a society too. Our society has become more open-minded, receptive and sympathetic. Today, we are disposed to tackle every petite issue in a modest way. However, we do not hesitate to talk about certain issues which our forerunners obscured because of social taboos and mores. For examples; transgender were less likely to be considered as human beings two three decades ago. Even, women were unable to enjoy equal rights. The superiority of casts and creed were given more significance. Religious or sectarian segregation was more severe. However, with the passage of time, this generation has not only evolved as a more refined nation but also bridged the gaps. Today, a woman as a pilot, doctor, engineer, CEO, economist, journalist, ambassador, and artist is no big news. Transgender is a human being with distinguished identity. Similarly, marriages in cross culture and casts are no big deal. Sectarian differences have been filled, only a few people would mull over these issues.
Similarly, we have seen a revival of sports in the country. As always, Cricket mania continued to entrap Pakistani nation. It is still going through its highs and lows, however, many other games have carved their share in the sports scenario. Especially, the revival of squash in the country has given a new hope to the admirers of this particular game. Previous generations have given Pakistan seven British Open Champions. For a long while, Pakistan has been dominating the game. Then, due to the negligence of the sports authorities, the rule of Pakistan declined. Nevertheless, last year has been a hopeful year in the renaissance of the game. In South Asian games, Nasir Iqbal and Farhan Zaman won gold and silver medal respectively. Some more medals at other international events also came home. Similarly, a surge of revival has also been seen in snooker. Muhammad Asif is not an emerging international player in the country but also a gleaming as a ray of hope for the youngsters who are playing at local level. Recently, Muhammad Asif won a championship against India. Moving to the tennis courts, Asam-ul-Haq has not only created his space among known international stars but also brought prestige home. A similar picture has been displayed on the grounds of hockey. They had some good victories which were enticing enough to get a sympathetic sight of masses as well as authorities. These players and teams made painstaking efforts to sustain in their respective games which prompted government to provide incentives. However, provided encouragements are still not enough but these games are entering into their renaissance phase.
Arts is the reflection of any society, therefore, our arts have also gone through most unsettling times just as society. Talking about the drama and film industry, there were times they both were striving for their survival. Pakistani masses were buying entertainment in Indian dramas and films. India is a country from which we took independence on basis of the fact that we have different norms, culture and religion. But the demise of our arts has driven masses to look for their reflection in Indian arts. However, every cloud has silver lining; therefore, last decade has blown a new spell of life in the industry. Shoaib Mansoor’s direction brought a new message of life to the film industry. Bol and Khuda Kay Liye were the masterpieces which gave impetus to other directors to come forward and depict a new picture of Pakistan on big screen. Later, Waar, Dukhtar, Moor, Manto, Shah and Namloom Afraad are strokes of genius. Drama industry too, not only erected itself on the substantial subject matter from society but also casted its spell all over the world. However, a large numbers of films in the cinema are mere display of glamour and they are deprived of serious subject matter. The artists have to look deep into the society and have to depict a real picture of the society.
Today, I belong to a generation which has not only seen the lowest times of Pakistan but brought a ray of hope and prosperity. This generation is endeavoring in every walk of life to reach impeccability. This generation despite many negatives is more constructive because it is more open-minded, more vocal about the issue, and more receptive of problems. At least this generation does not fear to open up disputes or confront sensitive issues or leave subjects unnoticed. This is a healthy behavior in a society and it will lead us toward prosperity Inshallah. However, the nation must stand united in times where it is needed. The difference of opinion or any sort of dispute must not peck on national unity.
Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.