Message to Delinquent Youth

Iqbal impresses upon the younger generation to respect elders and take care of their parents
"If we are interested to find answer to these questions we have to revisit the educational philosophy of Allama Iqbal which will guarantee our intrinsic happiness for which we all crave in this material-dominated world where man has been engulfed in a cocoon of self-centeredness."
"If we are interested to find answer to these questions we have to revisit the educational philosophy of Allama Iqbal which will guarantee our intrinsic happiness for which we all crave in this material-dominated world where man has been engulfed in a cocoon of self-centeredness."File/GK

There is a famous saying; a neglected spark burns the house. When we scan the daily newspapers we come across many case studies related to delinquency. I shall share few.

Romana hit and run case, murder of a 19 year old Kaleem Qadiri, 22 year old Suhail Mattoo from Noor Bagh died after a motor bike stunt,15 year old student committed suicide in Doda, youth died after overdose from drugs, teen murdered father in Dooru,  elderly man died after allegedly hit by brick thrown by a teenage relative, teenage girl was thrown acid at, youth withdraws money from the bank using the ATM card of her mother without her knowledge, youth held for tampering, blackmailing and forgery, youth involved in car and mobile theft, youth held for cybercriminal activities, student critically injured in knife attack by classmate in Baramulla, student stabs his friend to death over love interest. The cases are unending.

I shall refer to one case which recently occurred at Anantnag in which son killed her mother.  It is not the question of degree/quantum of punishment which  need to be awarded to the culprit for such heinous & inhuman crime that alone perhaps may not be enough to stop it from further occurrences.

Therefore the question asked should be how this seemingly young son of a mother developed such a perverse thought process in his brain, did not even control it at the very initial stage while conceiving this type of macabre & despicable plan of killing his own mother? What are the causes that eventually blocked the normal/rational functioning of his brain? Is there something going seriously wrong in our society, & at our homes right from top of the family head down to others in line of seniority there? Need to seriously visit the causes whatever may be, otherwise would be late. Ulema, lmams & respectables in the society need to come forward & play their role in arresting overall wayward trend of our youth.  

Contributing to the moral crisis is de-traditionalisation, which is the progressive decline in the influence of tradition and social institutions on the formation of values. This has grown in parallel with an increasingly tolerant and individualistic interpersonal morality.

Actions which were considered shameful in previous generations are now considered ‘cool’. Youth no longer fear social stigma; some find their self-worth precisely in their fearlessness to break social conventions. Institutional negligence is another contributing factor.

Flagrant disregard for rules is rampant and left unchecked in educational institutions. We have seen students smoking in public places without any fear, wearing improper dress, roaming in parks, bunds aimlessly. Warnings and campaigns have not worked. Parents are mute spectators to the delinquent activities of their children. Society at large is unconcerned towards the delinquent children.

Teachers are reluctant to discipline students for fear of parents’ complaints and negative feedback from students. When students know the authorities are lax in enforcement, they lose respect for rules and push the envelope. After getting away with small violations, they become emboldened to commit more serious offences.

Unfortunately, when they cross the line, it is too late and they end up in jail. Many parents fail to see that children who misbehave in public today will become inconsiderate and selfish neighbors and colleagues of tomorrow. Today we see a lot of unrest in the society; still a clear demarcation line has not been drawn between what is westernization and modernization.

Lot of hatred and intolerance around; social insensitivity; attitudinal rigidity; ingratitude; free floating anxiety; statistical thinking; ego inflation all these are eating into the vitals of our society.

If we are interested to find answer to these questions we have to revisit the educational philosophy of Allama Iqbal which will guarantee our intrinsic happiness for which we all crave in this material-dominated world where man has been engulfed in a cocoon of self-centeredness. 

Allama Iqbal was deeply concerned about the rehabilitation of delinquent youth. He viewed delinquency as a symptom of a curable disease. His focus was to target the problem of behavior of the child and not the child in person. I shall narrate here one case study. This case study was shared by K G Saiydain when he was collecting inputs for his book Educational Philosophy of Allama Iqbal.

One day Allama Iqbal was going to market. He was accompanied by his servant Ali Baksh and son Javaid Iqbal. On the periphery of the road he located a  homeless child who was shivering with cold and feeling nervous. Allama Iqbal purchased few warm clothes for this boy, fed him and approached him with love and warmth.

Allama Iqbal played the role of the counselor for this child. Back home the child narrated his ordeal. His name was Mizan. He had lost his parents at a very early age and was putting with her sister. His brother- in- law Hameed was a very cruel man.

He used to beat Mizan’s sister and forced her to sell her parental property and embezzled the money he got from the sale. Things reached the breaking point when once Hameed insulted and abused the dead parents of Mizan. He got infuriated and struck Hameed with a sharp screw driver. After this incident Mizan left the home and was left at the mercy of circumstances.

Allama Iqbal was deeply moved and tears started rolling down his face. Sharing his feeling with K G Saiydain he said deprivation of adequate emotional care and love in the early stages of development makes a marked impact on child’s personality construction.

Allama Iqbal admitted Mizan to a school, met his expenditure and finally after completing his education. This boy was recruited as a lawyer who fought for the rights of weaker sections of the society preferably delinquent children.

Allama Iqbal observes that we are creating a class of youth in our schools who do not have the courage to ask creative questions. They lack the courage to defend their brethren in their absentia and follow the crowd with sheepish mentality. There is a numb culture growing up very rapidly. Youth are becoming stoically selfish.

Engrossed in their own images, they are building up a context that is so overpowering with its cumbersome architecture of detachment and disregard. With an indignant amazement youth watch people suffering and even eliminated but they are not actually moved.

They are lost in their own fantasy, away from reality. With a disgraceful deception youth consume only information about everything horrendous happening to others and later subtly settle down in a non–sensitive world as sheer spectators.

Iqbal asserts that there is a dire need for our youth to reboot their behavioral configuration and explore the sensitivity chip afresh. Taking pains to remove the pain of others is the true essence of generosity. Righteousness is the ornament of knowledge.

Allama Iqbal impresses upon the younger generation to respect elders and take care of their parents in their old age. Youth should read the poem in Urdu which Dr Iqbal wrote on the death of her mother titled “ In memory of  late Mother”. Dr Iqbal impressed upon the youth to work hard. His slogan was in toil we flourish.

In one poem Chand aur Tare Iqbal says every atom in the universe is restless, our job every morning and evening is to be on the move, there is a death hidden in the static state, those on the move have gone ahead and those who have halted a bit have been trampled.

Our youth have to take a cue from this poem. It will play an instrumental role in their life. If our youth  allow the failure to settle and take refuge in drugs, our generation will be lost.

Dr Showkat Rashid Wani, Senior Coordinator , Directorate of Distance Education University of Kashmir

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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