In case you haven’t noticed, the new ‘IN’ thing in social media circles is to be an ‘Activist’. Go through numerous twitter profiles and on-line articles and you would notice that in most cases the person introduces themselves as an activist. But every time you ask them what is that they actually do, most of them have no real answers apart from saying that they are either freelance film makers or columnists which is common man speak for jobless people too lazy and under qualified to actually land a permanent job. And in absence of a real job, they have chosen to convert activism in to a career hoping to make a few bucks here and there.
Assuming that converting activism in to money making gig is fine, at what point did these people become experts on stuff? Be it politics or finance, these gangs of activists start pretending as if they are experts on the issue. I mean I am willing to buy the BS that may be they have a rough idea of one or two things given that they might have really read up on it, but to have an ‘expert’ opinion on every fucking thing seems highly unlikely.
But even this might be tolerable at some level, what is not tolerable is how the ‘activists’ sit in up-scale places in Islamabad and Karachi while bitching and crying about everything that is wrong with this country. All they do is whine and complain while never really taking charge in any situation and doing something productive. I mean think about it, their idea of bringing peace to a region is painting a few rickshaws in Karachi and Islamabad and taking a million pictures of them and then presenting that at a conference they arranged and invited all their friends to. And oh btw the conference itself is funded by a political party for its own advertising but these activists would sell their soul for a quick buck, cause that is what a person without a real career or a job does.
Its disgusting the way they choose to spend hours upon hours bitching Pakistan out, I mean come on, if Pakistan is so bad and everything is wrong isn’t it their national duty to jump in and try doing something about it? If there is terrorism and people are corrupt shouldn’t they be joining public service to actually be in a position to help the common people out? But oh wait… they do not want to do that cause that requires actual work and when one can write a couple of articles against religion and Pakistan to land a short trip abroad and a few consultancies then why bother actually serving the people of Pakistan? This is what Activism is becoming now, a person who starts out on one issue like censorship and free speech takes about 6 months to turn in to an expert on women’s rights and about 12 months to become an authority on terrorism.
The rise of these kinds of ACTIVISTS has been steady. Ever since Pakistan got exposed to twitter and facebook, there has been a slow movement towards this idea of people who have nothing to do with the issue constantly talking about it as true experts of the issues chose to initially be slow to move to social media and the newer forms of communications. In that vaccum, the Railu Katta Activists thrived, talking about everything under the sun because there was no one else to challenge their opinions. Initially this was not considered too annoying i.e. people read two articles and think they are experts is fine because well they have nothing else to offer. In essence they have hijacked the educated discourse on crucial issues that exists and have in fact turned all of that discussion in to a vanity exercise for their over sized online Egos. It is as if these people are perpetually angry at something or the other. But the irony of it all is, while these people bitch about whatever is wrong, they are also the 1st ones to shove down ‘Positive & Happy Thoughts’ down your throat throughout social media.
And throughout this ‘activism’, what these people are doing is working overtime to send the worst possible image of Pakistan out to the world because well that pays well. Not only that, because these highly insecure people would be exposed if they ever came across actual experts they move in clans to ensure that none of them get exposed and if that were to happen the others would swoop in to help protect the others. Take for example the Islamabad Clan that supports the PPP and bends over backwards to please them as they are the ones providing them some sort of financial backing, be it a few hundred thousand for a lousy conference or rickshaw design or even for skewed ‘debate’ which is biased in favor of a political party. Same is the case in Karachi, where a number of people who failed at their actual careers have joined hands to milk the cow that is activism in Pakistan.
And even though all of this is wrong on multiple levels, this is no way the worst of it. The worst of it is how these people are hurting real causes and actual issues through their hackery. Issues of conflict areas are normally ignored in favor of one or two sellable issues that require no real ground work and only a couple of conferences. Actual discourse on policy is mostly over taken a by a bunch of people bitching and crying over government not being able to do enough while refusing to enter public service and instead asking for money for that 1 school they run instead of contributing in improving the situation for thousands of government schools by joining the public service.
Point is, while social media is giving these hack activists space and they have been thriving, they are the same people who are hurting real causes by their oversimplified version of things that tend to ignore intricacies which have a long term impact cause these morons do not have the intellect to understand all of that as they are simply not fucking qualified to even comment on such stuff.
So in case you have failed miserably at your chosen career, pretend to be a hippy and would sell your soul for a quick buck, add the word ‘Activist’ to your profile and see how the money rolls in. Also do not forget to join a clan and bitch constantly about Pakistan and anyone remotely religious, cause that sells well abroad. Also you can totally say you are a flim maker.. based on what I have seen, most of the people currently who call themselves havent produced shit in the last 5 years and yet demand that they be called that, so if you did that, it would be totally cool.