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Youth are the Nation-builders

Jinnah's Ideals

"You are the nation-builders of tomorrow and you must fully equip yourself by discipline, education, and training for the arduous task lying ahead of you. You should realize the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it.” 

- Mr. Jinnah / Quaid-e-Azam

- Speech:  Equip yourself for the arduous task ahead

- Context: Address to a deputation of the committee of Action of the Punjab Muslim Student Federation Lahore, 31 October 1947

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Deeper reflections

The youth of Pakistan are acting with the enterprising spirit that energizes the people of Pakistan to a new hope in endeavoring towards enduring progress. The awesome responsibility of nation-building requires the youth of Pakistan to equip themselves with: 

 

1. Discipline

 

  • With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that we cannot achieve. We must remember that what we do upon some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are, and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline. 

  • Through organization and discipline, we can tackle the immense problems of climate change, water scarcity, poverty, hunger, disease, lack of education, gender inequality, population growth and so on. 

2. Education

 

  • Freedom of thought: The whole spirit of Pakistani education needs encourage young people to think for themselves, and to avoid acquiescing passively to the thoughts and feelings of others. Wherever divergent opinion and action by different groups is possible without anarchy, it ought to be permitted. Progress comes through the gradual effect of a minority in converting opinion and altering custom. 

 

  • Character-building: We must cultivate the highest possible character in our young people and continually invest and exert ourselves in this direction. Mr. Jinnah rightly pointed out that “Education does not merely mean academic education, and even that appears to be a very poor type. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of our future generations."

 

  • National character is not a mere idle decoration. It is not a theatrical artifice, to impose upon us unreal impressions of height and dignity. The added greatness is real. Height of aim, depth of character and nobility of expression are true forces. They grow to be an obligation upon us. A lofty sense of personal worth is one of the surest elements of greatness. 

 

  • After all, the achievement of Pakistan is directly attributed towards building our character: 

    • “You know really that not only we ourselves are wondering but I think, the whole world is wondering at this unprecedented cyclonic revolution which has brought about the plan of creating and establishing two independent sovereign dominions in this subcontinent. As it is, it has been unprecedented; there is no parallel in the history of the world. This mighty subcontinent with all kinds of inhabitants has been brought under a plan which is titanic, unknown, unparalleled. And what is very important with regard to it is that we have achieved it peacefully and by means of an evolution of the greatest possible character.” - Mr. Jinnah

 

  • Technical-knowledge: Economic progress requires the people of Pakistan to rapidly acquire modern technical-knowledge. 

    • “There is an immediate and urgent need for training our people in scientific and technical education in order to build up our economic life, and we should see that our people undertake scientific, commerce, trade and particularly, well planned industries.” - Mr. Jinnah 

 

  • Adoption, incubation and development of new technologies will radically accelerate wealth creation. The first order of business is to democratize access to technical education, which cannot be done without ensuring high-speed internet across every remote corner of the country. 

 

  • The young people need to be exposed to various latest technologies such as machine learning, blockchain, web3, artificial intelligence, autonomous transportation, genome sequencing, and others. We aspire to develop research and development centers to not only contribute to global knowledge but also push the boundaries of scientific innovations.  

 

3. Training

 

  • Economic-activity: Working at a job is key. It trains young people to apply their education to real-world projects, build soft-skills such as collaboration, communication and management to prepare for larger tasks ahead of launching world-class companies, boosting job creation and generating massive economic impact. 

  • We must expose our young people to habits, culture and way of working as found in Silicon Valley. In Silicon Valley, resides America's industrial, military, commercial, and social hope for the rest of this century and beyond. From this coterie of a couple of thousand feverishly active firms will come America's weapons, economic strength, balanced trade, and medical breakthroughs. From them will also come life-enhancing inventions on the order of calculators and personal computers that the Valley has already given the world. We must build a stronger connection with Silicon Valley and build opportunities for the young people of Pakistan to work at these tech firms in Silicon Valley and learn from the best. 

 

  • Civic-duty: The youth of Pakistan can train themselves by participating in the public life of their local communities. We can never become apathetic observants of ill-conditions. Instead, we must operate as a conscientious force that always addresses political, social and economic issues and positively contribute towards public welfare. 

 

  • Political Participation: The youth of Pakistan can train themselves in galvanizing the public, enhance their political participation in an organized way to increase pressure on politicians by:

    • Raising public awareness on social issues that are under political consideration 

    • Building automated tools that outreach public-officers, senators and politicians to share public concerns 

    • Designing scalable information proliferation systems that educate the public on core issues to raise the level of national discourse

 

***

The young people of Pakistan are ready to bear the immense magnitude of the responsibility of nation-building. The citizens of Pakistan will defeat provincialism, unite the nation, conduct a rapid economic transformation and usher in an era of Islamic renaissance. We will find the strength to do so in our noble blood, history and aspirations. The enormity of our task does not overwhelm us, but, instead energizes us to progress with courage and fortitude.

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