I-Hate-Politics Fellows.!

It is a common verbatim among our youth, ‘I hate politics.’ This tendency to hate ‘everything politics’ is a contemporary phenomenon since major national struggles in our history are led by our youth from the Language Movement (1952) to the Liberation War (1971) to the Anti-Autocracy movement of 1990. Fariha Tabassum names her own generation as her i-hate-politics-fellows and calls for a return to political thinking.

mindspeak

 

It is a common verbatim among our youth, ‘I hate politics.’ This tendency to hate ‘everything politics’ is a contemporary phenomenon since major national struggles in our history are led by our youth from the Language Movement (1952) to the Liberation War (1971) to the Anti-Autocracy movement of 1990. Fariha Tabassum names her own generation as her i-hate-politics-fellows and calls for a return to political thinking.

Have you ever come across a youngster who claims that he or she hates politics and is tired of the nasty politics going around? Well, being a youngster myself, I have plenty of these I-Hate-Politics fellows. They carefully avoid any national and international political event updates, let alone analyses or discussions on those. In a world full of social media, hangouts, music, sports, and their own area of study, anything concerning politics is considered unworthy of their interest.

This lack of enthusiasm towards politics in my generation should be taken as a matter of deep concern, particularly for the sake of a batter democratic practice. Democracy, in its simplest form, is all about participation. Without spontaneous, enthusiastic and critical participation from the mass people, a democratic system cannot be influential. As Eric William puts it, ‘democracy rests on an informed and cultivated and alert public opinion.’

Now, this so called I-Hate-Politics youths make a huge portion of the populace of our country and, as the saying goes, are indeed the future of the nation. Moreover, a large portion of our educated youths, both graduates and post graduates, remain in this stratum. A simple bit of wandering in the social media can confirm this for you. If such youths of the country remain indifferent and uninterested in the political affairs, of both domestic and international sphere, good political participation cannot be expected. Besides, as history shows that the young generations had been the main steering force in almost every political change, this present impassiveness in the youths can bring in only worsening of the contemporary political conditions.

What must be noted here is that political participation does not necessarily mean being involved in party politics or standing as candidate for the next election right away. Political participation involves the seemingly minimal activities such as having a clear and conscious opinion about the political affairs, being updated about the political issues, having the knowledge about the political rights of a citizen, and so on. These acts are absolutely necessary for building up a participatory political culture that can ensure better democracy. Considering politics and everything related to it as something nasty and unworthy of getting interest, and treating them only with unconstructive criticisms, cannot lead to such political culture.

However, the blame should not be given on the young people alone. The political environment of our domestic politics is so turbulent and hazy that many simply prefer to avoid it all together. Most of the young people are deprived of a good political socialisation, as people can hardly come out of the partisan views and make constructive political opinion from a balanced perspective. What with the national politics being full of blame game and blood shed, parents also prefer to keep their children in dark about the political matters.

The necessity of having a good knowledge of the ongoing political issues and activities, and of having a constructive political opinion is not largely recognised. We simply take it for granted that it is better to keep our eyes shut and keep going with our personal life. We fail to realise that every sphere of activities in a country is related to politics and for having a clear interpretation of any event, an understanding of the political perception is essential. Hence, this increasingly popular attitude of I-Hate-Politics can never lead to a better social and political system. We, the youngsters need to stop turning a blind eye to everything going around us by labeling them ‘nasty politics’ and, we must, stop hating politics.

 

Fariha Tabassum is studying political science in the University of Dhaka.

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