“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
— Mark Twain
In the midst of all the current political debates, upheavals, discussions, etc., the questions that came to me this morning were: How are we supposed to decide and choose which party to follow? Where should our true allegiance lie?
Should it be with the political party whose beliefs you feel closest to? Or the party whom your family has supported since long? Most of my younger generation friends are unable to make up their mind about this; they are in fact not reallykeen to engage themselves in this confusing, complicated and ‘dirty’ world because they do not see any future nor any hope in there for themselves.
I believe that this is mostly because there is lack of consensus on the fact that our true allegiance should be to our country. Most politicians and policy-makers started off with a genuine desire to bring about positive change in our society but somehow got side-tracked at some point. Most of them today barely acknowledge that the youth have a role to play in society and that they should be encouraged to show allegiance to their country above all else. Given the current situation where brain-drain is carrying on pretty much the same in our society and that there are immense possibilities to relocate to other parts of the world, it would have been apt for politicians to give the younger generation a reason to stay on and fight for a worthy cause. After all, aren’t we the future of this country?
Instead of focusing on criticizing the other parties, politicians should be focusing on pulling up the nation behind them for the common purpose of bettering the country as a whole and certainly not for a particular group or community. In the prevailing political environment, we, the younger generation, are currently seeing that there is a divide amongst our leaders who are only skilfully using their words to retain the seat of power or to get to the seat of power.
One has the feeling that the country is in need of a leader whose actions speak louder than words… and whose allegiance is predominantly to the country rather than just to power. Allegiance is a strong word that people use in a very loose manner these days. When deciding where your allegiance lies, it does not matter what community you belong to, it does not matter where you come from – what matters is the recognition that the country has major issues on which we should be focusing. Issues such as youth unemployment and climate change are real and will not be going away any time soon unless we do something about them.
And it is also up to us the younger generation to forget the old politics and focus on this ‘new-age politics’ where your true allegiance is foremost to your country. Our generation has the ability to bring in a fresh wave that has the potential to create positive change. The only thing lacking is the innate belief that we can do something to bring this about.
Much of the younger generation who are not getting involved and who are not showing an ounce of interest should understand the consequences of their inaction: by so doing, they are losing their right to have a say in society and to have a say on the things that matter. By not getting involved enough, we are giving others a free pass to decide on our future. And that’s a question we should all ponder on – do we just let it happen?
Many people might also argue that we do not have enough substance to bring in something concrete and we are not going to be able to change the current system. I am not saying that it is going to be easy to make our voices heard, but it is indeed worth a try – for the sake of our own generation and generations to come. How do we make our voices heard, you may ask? This is done by taking the simplest of steps: get involved in the community, get to know closely the issues that are calling attention around you, make up your own opinion, find a solution to the problem, get in touch with the leaders in your society and make your voices heard.
So stand up for what you believe in, show your allegiance to your country. If we do not do it, who will?
Anishah Aujayeb is Business Development & Legal Officer, Juristconsult Chambers & Global Shaper, World Economic Forum
* Published in print edition on 25 April 2014
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