Fifty years have passed since our forefathers achieved our independence with their blood. The birth of a young nation is aligned with emotions as well as citizens' aspirations, expectations, and opportunities, concerning mostly with the creation of a strong foundation for the next generation.
Surely, the youths of Bangladesh missed the joy of claiming their land unlike their forefathers, but the golden history of 1952 and 1971 has the same positive outlook, yet with different demands and opportunities.
The youths of Bangladesh grew up fantasising about the brave freedom fighters, their deeds, unity, and their heroic steps. To them, this land is a field of potential, achievements, and experiments.
Surely, the enthusiastic young generation has always taken bold steps in every field, be it business or science or national crisis. And many moments in history show us their heroic achievements at the national and international level.
Competing boldly against the developed nations in the foreign domain, with the tag of developing country's citizen, the flag of Bangladesh has flown high many times proudly representing the child of a heroic mother.
Internet and social media platforms proved to be some of the most useful tools for finding opportunities and transforming innovative ideas into action. Startups and the business world have benefited greatly as a result of these. The platforms also opened creative content creation and service-based opportunities for many. Needless to mention, the journey of youths in terms of repaying their motherland is quite progressive.
However, from the perspective of the progressive generation, they certainly have some desire and claims towards their motherland. They need to feel included, accepted and recognised for their ideas and innovations. They need to be provided with genuine opportunities based on their merit. Society must act as their strength not their reason for setback.
The absence of a humanistic approach is present everywhere nowadays. Many unsung heroes have taken their lives for thousands of rejections from interview boards, despite being eligible candidates.
The demand for a corruption-free and merit-based selection seems never-ending. And even when accepted, the constant refusal of innovative approach, lack of motivation and support from the high-ups made them lose their interest.
No content creators can be found in this country, without any hate comments or death threats, be it online or offline. Not in work only, humanity seems to be disappearing from all sectors despite the country's economic progress.
Notably, even though the number of people practising religion is increasing, conscience does not seem to be a criterion for deciding actions. Violence and crime spiked surprisingly in the last few decades, and regardless of the relationship with the opposition, murder and rape became dominant tools. And in the case of women and children, the rate of violence keeps on mounting as days pass by.
Numerous policies and legislation have been enacted to address certain social injustices, but the refusal to obey the rule and the proclivity for corruption have become prevalent.
And those in positions of regulatory authority do not put enough focus on achieving the objective of fairness and equality for all.
This substantially permits more violence and injustice. The rights of citizens cannot be ensured as well, without proper implications of regulatory policies.
As a youth, regardless of their gender, the demand is more for their rights and freedom, the presence of social justice and laws, and the actual use of education and conscience.
The percentage of the educated population is undoubtedly praiseworthy, but the action of the population simply doesn't reflect so. When there is discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, and race, where the utilisation of democracy is curbed: right to speech, limited access to better healthcare, and no guarantee to return alive from the roads, the potential of youths cannot be at use anymore.
And as a woman, be it in their twenties or fifties, the burden gets heavier at work, on roads, and even at home having to deal with the gender-based assaults at every single step.
Surely the evanescence of justice and kindness cannot be accepted from the people whose ancestors bear the crown of heroic deeds. The youth demands a humanistic development of their motherland, and it is never too late.
With an average age of 25, and more than 20% being the youth population, the youth should be at the centre of the humane development of the country.
For the freedom fighters taught us to never tolerate oppression and unite for the betterment of the nation.
Rufaida Shafiq Aaneela is a student of development studies, University of Dhaka.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.