Rural Pulse: We Must Not Be Passive Citizens
In the first edition of this year’s Rural Pulse, we will be looking into citizenship engagement. This is a very important issue in development, especially in light of the adoption of the global goals which will be the road-map to measuring development issues globally until the year 2030.
Looking at different countries in the world, we will realise that there are different challenges that needs to be conquered. From the terrorist attacks to the migration and leadership crisis that continue to rock the world, it is evident that individual (citizens) effort is key in shaping the future of the world.
However, while individual countries have their own peculiar problem, there is a common challenge that has been recurring over the years. It is passive citizenship engagement.
Passive citizenship is the opposite of active citizenship.
Active citizenship brings together skills and knowledge of citizenship to nation building. Active citizenship means people get involved in local and national affairs to ensure accountability in governance, leadership and development at all levels.
Unfortunately, many of us are less concerned.
While we keep blaming our leaders for our socio-economic woes, the truth is that most of us are not patriotic enough to monitor activities, ask questions and take responsibility to monitor activities of those we have appointed as our leaders. A number of us fail to realise that even if things are not going on well, we have a duty, a responsibility to make our own case and act in a way that will benefit this and the next generation. Many of us fail to acknowledge that solving the world’s problems does not lie in the hand of the minority few (elected leaders) but in the hands of the majority, which is everyone.
We fail to realise that even if things are not going on well, we (the governed) can make our own case and take collective responsibility in mending the broken fence of our society. When there is active citizenry engagement, there will be accountability in governance and social development.
Now, more than ever, let us be ACTIVE in development issues.