Political Education: A Civic Responsibility

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Masses become a nation when they have a common goal and they strive to get that goal through their collective actions. Diversity is said to be the art of thinking together as a nation thus dreaming for a prosperous nation and working hard for it. China is one such example. The dilemma of developing countries is that they have huge resources but the management of those resources is poorly administered. People don’t share a common goal as everyone thinks of their interests that leads to corruption and stagnant development of the country. But pluralistic societies are more prone to the internal conflicts that are usually caused by the inequalities on behalf of the state in the allocation of resources. These conflicts can be addressed by educating people about their duties and rights, so that people may understand the need to take an active part in the political affairs of the country to get their issues addressed.

Pakistan being a pluralistic nation, have the potential to break that stereotype by working hard together and managing their resources intelligently. But one of its major problems is illiteracy and lack of political education. People don’t have basic political education to play an important or impactful role in the business of the government. In such conditions, only a more politically aware group in such a society will be successful in having swift access to the resources that will lead to the unequal distribution of the resources thus raising conflicts among diverse groups. Political education is also a very important civic responsibility, as only a politically educated citizen can play an unbiased and efficient role in deciding the social, political, and economic future of the country.  For that matter, Media can play a major role in educating people but nowadays if someone wants to scan news then the only thing one sees is the media headlines where politicians are just playing blame games against one another. Consequently, most of the street-level political discussions are on such topics rather than thinking about the prosperity of the country. In such circumstances, normally what happens is that the issues of crucial importance for the welfare of the public such as alleviating poverty, making necessities of life available for everyone, concentration on the health and malnutrition issues, giving everyone easy and free access to education, controlling prices of goods and services and creating job opportunities are ignored at all levels of decision making.

Another issue that needs the immediate attention of the public as well as the government is accelerating urbanization. The higher authorities are not drawing their attention to this issue and the unplanned expansion of cities is the result of their negligence. Lahore and Karachi are prominent examples of this negligence. The reason behind this rapid urbanization is that people who lack access to resources in rural or less developed cities decide to migrate to the big cities to find respectable sources of earning. Thus, efficient Policy formulation and its effective implementation are required for the allocation of resources based on equity and efficiency otherwise in coming years our cities will be none other than places with crowded masses and heaps of garbage. Another big non-traditional security threat to Pakistan is climate change that also leads to food insecurity in the country with more than 216 million. Although the whole of South Asia is experiencing this threat but Pakistan has recently been declared as the second most polluted country following Bangladesh. These are not the threats of nuclear attack by India or invasion by the US that may lead to rotten the foundations of Pakistan as this has become difficult for the countries acquiring nuclear resources to attack openly, so in case of any external threat the nation will hold together as this nation is known for its resilience but the climate change which is a grim threat to not only Pakistan but to the whole South Asia is a prominent threat to its survival.

According to the phrase used in Darwinian Theory “survival of the fittest” nations will prosper if they work hard to address and overcome the challenges they face. Our country, whose majority of the population is youth, is standing at a crucial point where if these issues of food insecurity and climate change remained unaddressed, it would ultimately lead to the downfall of the state. Youth is a strength of any nation, Pakistan as a developing nation should unite to overcome these issues because only those nations survive who stand firmly in the face of such calamities.

For overcoming the existing threats to the state, political education is necessary so that the nation understands the seriousness of these issues. That understanding would lead to the end of social fragments and people will ultimately think for their collective goal. This is high time for the nation that comprises 63% of youth to accept their civil responsibility to take a powerful stance on the issues of public welfare rather than being tangled in the useless fights of the political parties, just for the sake of point-scoring against other opponents. There is a dire need to understand that the sky-high mottos and vague political slogans will never be able to fill the empty stomachs of the poor masses. People only remember those who bring them out of the miseries of life. Acquiring political education for the fulfillment of civic responsibility in terms of choosing wise and competent persons who will lead them is necessary. Because nations that don’t participate in collective actions are just fragmented groups. As long as a nation does not decide to stand firmly for its rights, the socio-economic conditions of the country will remain the same.

To become a “welfare state” and to meet the new challenges, the Pakistani nation needs to understand the fact that they have to work hard as a nation to become an invincible nation. The great nations do not expect others to come and make them mighty rather they show the world their resilience by understanding the threats to their survival and then utilizing their energy and resources efficiently to achieve their goals thus making themselves undefeatable as a nation. Only then a nation led by competent and honest persons can move towards the heights of success.

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