Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where are the youth?

I watched last night's protests with dismay. So much unrest and turmoil and anger. The whole city of Male is gripped by talons of negative vibes, frustration, resentment. Hardcore supporters of every party claiming they are in the right. 

I consider myself a normal young person. I do not care for creating chaos and political upheaval and getting involved in these power plays. I wear normal clothes, eat normal food and do normal things. I mean normal to be what is common in this society. Normal clothes - shirt and pants, kurtas, tshirts, jeans. Normal food - the usual staples roshi, bread, rice and curries, and veggies and fruits. Normal things - spend time with my man and my family, go to work, go to gym, occassionally go out with friends, do shopping, sing in the shower, watch movies, listen to music, read, do household chores, surf the net, fix a meal, go for a drive around Male. All in all,  it might sound mundane, but I guess this is what's normal for many people. It's our lives, day in day out.

So where are all these people? People who do these normal things. Where are all the every day average youth? Where are the people like me who just want to lead normal lives in peace and quietly go about their business? Where are the youth who go to work, have coffees with their buddies, enjoy a game of soccer or basketball or something couple of times a week, download a couple of episodes or movies for the weekend, share videos on facebook...? Are all of them protesting? Are all of them committing crimes, on drugs, vandalizing property and victimizing innocent people? Are all of them asleep? I have begun to wonder where all these people are, where all these people have gone, why we never hear from them. Where is their voice, who represents them? It is not the media who are biased one way or the other, it is not the lethargic civil society who only seem to come to life after some foreign aid agency pumps them some money and then they go and publish a report on something thats blaringly obvious, it is not the parliament which has become a three ring circus and I dont think even half the parliamentarians wake up sure of what they shall stand for that day. So where is their engagement in decisionmaking, their forum for dialogue, their platform to voice their concerns, and who cares?

I live in the world, a world of forgotten people
Who've loved and lost their hearts so many times
I'm here in the world, a world of forgotten people
Where every heart is aching just like mine.
 [George Jones, A World of Forgotten People]

The normal everyday youth is sidelined today. People past their 50s are making important decisions that affect their everyday lives, their way of living, and their future. And yet they sit idle, watching on helplessly and perhaps now with nonchalance and indifference, since they have been pushed down again and again, and ignored for so long.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
[Mother Teresa]
I saw these photos and was hit by a wave, no a flood, of nostalgia and raw emotion. It made me cry. Do not forget these people. They are the ones who got you here...and all they are asking for is some peace in their lives.


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