Youth Activism and Democratization in Asia
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“The youth is the hope of our future,” remarked Filipino revolutionary thinker Jose Rizal, whose vast body of work inspired independence movements across post-colonial Asia. On the surface, the quote seems cliché if not an oft-quoted truism.
Yet, upon closer inspection, what the founder of the Filipino nation had in mind was no less than the role of the youth in laying the foundation for the future of a nation. He didn’t see the youth as innocent and feckless bystanders in the forward march of history, but instead as key agents of political transformation against the ossified institutions of a society (often under the yoke of the older generation).