Virtual Activism

Danish Qureshi

Danish“The dictionary meaning of activism is doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests.”

The activism is a stand that one takes for achieving what is not done by a Pen. The involvement of demonstration and protests in an occupied regime makes it even more strenuous. Living in a land where the voices are against a super-power adds five stars to activism. The people who stand for their rights with boldness can be termed as activists. The activists are the people whose conscience never allows them to act like the puppet of the forced system. In other words you can say an activist is a “Specialist” or “Freemen”.

Every individual has a right to see access and analyse the system they live in and judge whether they stand for it or against it. There is a need of a constant eagle’s eye and this is where activism comes in. If the system does not function according to the public desire then the system is brought in public domain fearing from which the autocratic system is brought down.

The activism can be in form of Media, Social networking, NGO’s etc. These forms of activisms have wide applicability. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube etc have made activism easy. Twitter and Facebook are beating the drum of every modern civic protest.  These social networking sites have made it easier than ever to organize a popular uprising. Creating an event, posting a status or tweeting about an uprising provides a virtual cum real platform for an activist movement. The best of social activism one can say is the Arab upspring in 2011. The internet activism has an impact – “” made American bank to backtrack five dollar fee for making debit card purchases. So we can say these networking sites have provided a platform for those whose voices are not heard in the real world. These virtual voices have brought change in the real world.

This social activism has a bigger advantage and that is the “Feedback”. These social networks provide an immediate and continual feedback from the general public. These feedbacks if considered and then discussed online with the general public make the real goal achievable within the easiest possible way. Even these social networking sites provide an outlet for the suggestions from public like on Facebook we have a voting system and use of hash-tag on twitter which help the general public to express what they want. Uploading a video on YouTube of any wrong happenings and creating awareness is also regarded as one of the highest form of social media activism.

News channels are also potentially valuable resources for social movements. The activists understand that the news channels are one important level of playing fields. These news channels bring facts to the people in a well organised way.  News channels have remained a centre concern for many movements. Many activist groups will circulate mainstream news for their actions and news that quote their members so that it becomes general voice. These news channels bring up the concern on the agenda. The possibility is that the agenda will get more hype on these news channels than any other form of media and reach broader public and make public stand for the change.

On the other hand real protests make noise. They gain attention for an issue and send a clear and actionable message to the powers that be. This includes coming on streets, shouting, raising slogans, holding placards, banners, wearing black bands etc. This form of activity is of high regard as it is a form of aggression that is in the activist who is up for change. This form of activism usually yields successful results.

Activism can be in any form but what it needs is courage, determination and the inner conscience to stand up for justice irrespective of its form.

Author studies engineering at Kashmir University and can be contacted at:


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