No society can grow without lubricants of tolerance, inclusion and rule of law: Huma Baqai

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ISLAMABAD, NOV 25 /DNA/ – The kind of socio-political polarization, toxicity and utter lack of tolerance being witnessed in the society today – where we have stopped listening, rather listen to attack – is increasingly and alarmingly becoming a political and social culture. This deadly mix also takes a devastating toll on the social capital, and has repercussions for the economic output of the country.

These remarks were made by Dr. Huma Baqai, Rector, Millennium Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (MITE), Karachi, during the Sindh Chapter of Paving Pathways to Social Cohesion – Faculty Members Workshop Series, organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) at and in collaboration with MITE.

She further said that unfortunately, Pakistan today has become a country which is suffering from brain drain, much more than it has ever experienced in the past due to disillusionment among youth so much so that they don’t see a future for themselves in the country.

In this entire scenario, there is a huge onus on faculty members – given their youth outreach potential – as nurturers and mentors to sow seeds of peace in the minds of the young people who will become the leaders of tomorrow. In a country like Pakistan where around 65 percent of the overall population is under the age of 30, such an intervention becomes ever more important.

While we are teaching skills and technology – as market needs, let us not forget teaching the lubricants as dire needs of the society for cohesion, where the lubricants are tolerance, inclusion, rule of law, equality and equity, and no society can grow without these lubricants.

Diversity is an asset the society needs the most. Only by equally accessible justice – to everyone regardless of individual identities/ backgrounds, can rule of law be upheld. In the endeavor to bolster women empowerment, it is extremely important to onboard and sensitize male members of the society.

Paving Pathways to Social Cohesion is a great initiative, in fact, couldn’t be timelier as this is the kind of lubricant that our society needs at this moment in time to peacefully and respectfully coexist and pursue shared goals of development and prosperity.

The workshop screened four original short films produced by the Center on the core values of social cohesion, where the participating faculty members representing different universities across Karachi actively and critically participated in the discussions had throughout the workshop.

 They said that while social mobility is about equal opportunity to every member of the society for growth and development, we should not selfishly pursue our dreams that it reduces space for others to pursue their dreams to avoid the paradox. Our best agency and opportunity to bring a positive social change is at home.

We should make no mistakes in attributing subjecting ideas to different social identities as it can have negative consequences. We must take the courage to speak about the issues though hard to speak about but so critical to the long-term peace and stability in the society. The media discourse and content must also be inclusive of the messages that promote harmony and mutual respect. Young generation is highly malleable, and not necessarily resistant to good messages, they just need good guidance.