All over the world, in totalitarian countries, people are generally unhappy about the rulers, who run the country. In such countries, curtailment of individual freedom and liberty is common practice and transparency is conspicuous by absence. However, people put up with the problems and stress, fearing suppression.
In democratic countries, where a more civilized form of governance is claimed to exist, the rulers are elected by the people in national elections. The elected people are supposed to be persons, who enjoy a high level of acceptance and popularity amongst people. However, over the years, these politicians in democratic countries also seem to be losing the confidence of the people and their credibility is suspected. They are often accused of being self-centered and are blamed for compromising with the value system, for the sake of winning the elections by hook or crook and getting into power. They are also accused of forming an unprincipled alliance between political parties in the elections to get into power.
In the process, the overall image of the politicians in democratic countries are now getting gradually tarnished. While, certainly, there are good politicians with principled approaches, these days they seem to be few and far between in all democratic countries.
In such circumstances, many people think that activists, who are supposed to be working for genuine causes such as overall social welfare, for defeating corruption and nepotism in public life can be the counterforce to the politicians, who are not of desirable standards. This is one major reason why activists have been generally looked upon approvingly by the people, placing faith on their integrity and sense of values.
Unfortunately, the image of the activists also seems to be getting rapidly eroded these days. There are activists who claim themselves as representing different causes such as environmental issues, defense of individual liberty and freedom of speech, to prevent caste-based oppression and exploitation of the poor, etc. Amongst such activists, those who claim that they stand for environmental protection get high publicity in the media.
While the concept of activism is a highly desirable one and much needed in any society, the pre-condition is that the activists should remain blemishless and without hatred and prejudice and without preconceived notions and views. They should be strictly non-partisan.
These days, many people have started wondering whether the activists are also going in the same way as politicians. The scenario is that a number of politicians are there in the guise of activists and the difference between the activists and politicians has now become difficult to identify.
Just as in the case of politicians being identified as leftists and rightists, many of the activists are also being identified these days as leftists and rightists and sometimes, even as ultra-leftists or ultra-rightists. Just as in the case of politicians, in the case of several activists too, one can guess beforehand as to what would be their stand on a particular issue even before hearing them.
The ongoing tool kit episode in India clearly highlights the fact that those claiming to be environmentalists have no hesitation in involving themselves in an activity, which are entirely political and that has nothing to do with environmental issues. Obviously, these activists take cover under the image as environmental activists and indulge in political activity.
Greta Thunberg, who attained quick fame as a young environmental activist, has used her position and reputation to spread a message supporting the farmer’s agitation in India. Those who criticize her for commenting on this issue, think that she has tried to gain another image as a human rights activist in a shortcut way.
Police in Delhi have clearly pointed out the three other activists in India who call themselves as environmental crusaders but have tried to fight for the cause of the Khalistan movement, (separatist movement), instead of restricting themselves to environmental activism.
When the police find that a dangerous separatist movement is being helped by a few individuals who claim themselves as environmental activists, police are bound to view them not as environmental activists but as motivated fighters for the cause, which is bound to be looked upon as anti-national activity.
Of course, some activists, who claim that they are lawyers, professors, or historians by profession, jump into the fray to support these so-called environmental activists and are trying to give their activity an image as an anti-government activity. Law is bound to take its own course in such circumstances and it has to and the judiciary has to decide.
The net result of this tool kit episode is that some activists are no longer viewed as activists by the general public but as motivated politicians in disguise.
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