Throughout our history, young leaders and activists were the vanguard of all nationalist movements that eventually resulted in the independence of Bangladesh. Most of those who participated in the Liberation War of 1971 were under 40 or 30 years old.
Yet, as writer Syed Abul Maksud recently expressed in one of his opinion pieces, young people have nearly vanished from the political landscape today. He also wrote of his disappointment towards the older political leaders who are understandably reluctant to welcome young blood for obvious reasons.
In all major political parties, young leaders are not considered for influential positions. In the recent much-awaited dialogue between the governing party and opposition parties, most of the participants were between 60-70 years of age. On the other hand, the age of nearly 70 percent of our population is below 34.
Therefore, unless there is proportionate youth representation and participation in politics, voices of those from the largest age group in the country will be left out. When we have representatives of such a large section of people missing from the political landscape, what hope do we have?
Md Tarek Aziz Bappi, University of Dhaka