The Rise of the Independent Activist : Good, Bad or Unimportant?

When a society reaches a point in its trajectory in which it cannot trust any ideology or an institution to solve its ailments. There are usually two outcomes which are associated in this sort of dead end. Either Independent ‘Outlier’ emerges as a virus to disrupt the existing status quo. This outlier is very much, a product of the system who is a change agent turned revolutionary. Social Media with its transforrmational prowess to channelize passion and creativity, has been able to lead the surge in Independent digital activism. Wael Ghonem, a Google Executive turned activist catalyzed the Tahrir Square protests, which overturned the Mubarak Regime. We have our own Tahrir Square at Jantar Mantar, with Arvind Kejriwal turning into a whistle blower with an impact. Well how well he does at the ballot box is no consequence as long as the existing system is being shaken not stirred.

Julian Assange exemplifies the embodiment of an activist with seismic presence. One man can shake up the world of Global Intelligence like no other. Similar Modus Operandi of Kejriwal is yielding early fruits. Things can get toxic, but the impact matters. Every person who has a perspective, has a passion for change with a twitter account or a blog is an activist in his own right. Whether one has ten followers or a million, activism is a marathon and not a 100 m dash.

Independent Activists matter for one reason, they do not play by rules of the game and are not afraid of the power of special interest groups. Although there is power in numbers, often a single soul can rally a million towards cause de resistance to see an event happen that might trigger a chain reaction where other ‘free radicals’ might join the movement of reform whatever the agenda of the day is. Ideas have consequences, well independent activists are often citizens spreading the valid word.

Remember Mandela, Gandhi and to a lesser extent Arafat. Change is here, if we can see it happen.


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