Guiding Light: An insight into activism

Activists have a role to play in society, whether the brand of activism is destructive in tearing down an outdated structure in the society or in bringing about constructive changes in the society. Both have a role to play. I prefer to go with the latter kind of activism for constructive change. At the same time, if one is into activism then one has to accept the fact that there will always be a push back from the establishment, the society. Resistance to change is as natural as the fact that society is always changing.

Therefore anyone who initiates change can always expect a push back. As an activist one has to also be ready to accept the consequences of one’s actions. One has to accept that if it is into the destructive type of activism of tearing down outdated structures, the pushback will be greater. This is why activism requires some sort of a vision which is larger than the individual or the immediate concerns.

One thing most activists fail to recognise that to harness a democratically elected government as a part of their functioning. Many established NGOs (Non-governmental organisations) recognise this and try to involve the government through political affirmative action. Whatever my functioning is, in whichever role I am, one always has to be ready to accept the consequences of my action, however noble my intentions are. People judge one by the actions and their view of how things should be.

To accept unconditional support just because one thinks that one’s wish or goal is great or noble does not mean that there won’t be a push back. In fact, harmony in society is maintained by the supportive and opposing factors for any action. This has been researched and presented in a lot of management articles and papers which is outside the purview of this article. If as an activist one breaks the law which one has the right to do one also has to be ready to face the consequences of breaking the law. If one is not ready to do that, one better not be an activist.

(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him @aarshavidyaf@gmail.com)

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