“How’s the strike going on?” I asked the medical officer in front of me.
On that day, they were on a token walkout from duties claiming their promised increments and allowances. One of a series of protests and walkouts.
“It’s a total shame. Actually, we are on duty. We are not on a strike. Just now I got my time off. Political minions crept into our protests, now it has totally gone in a different direction. We can’t face the general public, they see us like hangmen. No one asks from us what is going on or whether we are on duty. Actually, those conmen now are launching their political propaganda selling our name.”
With his deep look on me, he pasted a bleak smile on his. “Would you believe me?” was all over in his tired face. Actually, that was news for me.
This is the story of today’s activism. On day one, it is launched for one objective and before long it was diverted to some other direction. Most of the time, towards some political agenda. First, they creep into the scene as with genuine concern. They shout the slogans aloud. They direct the workers to block the bridges, roads or to demos at roundabouts. For the voiceless community, they become a voice. They know how to force employers, what to say at the media voice cut sessions, whom to meet and who responsible for the situation. A blessing for the workers - is it? People blindly gather around those political minions. They think those henchmen came for their survival. Finally, the minions have had their demonstrations, had their opinions spread in telecasts, have some powwows with the bigwigs and leave the crowd. When they look back nothing has happened as expected, they have only barked on behalf of a shrewd political power-seeker.
We could bring many examples of the same. Bogawanthalawa tea estate worker’s strike in Sri Lanka for a higher daily wage, recent 200 million workers strike in India against new legislation on labour Laws shows a clear picture of the situation. Mexican assembly plant and factory worker’s strike for better salaries displayed the pathetic condition of today's unions. Union leaders are afraid to lose their jobs. They are no longer the “fighters” we expect. So, the replacement automatically filled by the political henchmen.
When the activists turn back, many of their colleagues have lost lives, some gone behind bars but the world have not received their message. No one knows what the actual fight was for. Only the hatred and disrespect from the general public is left for them.
Therefore, it is time to think before joining activism. Is it properly organized? What are the objectives? How is it going on? How it started and where is it heading?
If not our effort will be in vain, or for someone else’s gain.
1 : Today's activism lost its trail
2 : Activism is a joint venture, know the other's interestCategory: Activism / Subcategory: Keep the focus intact
Tags: activism, political intervention, objectives, losing the track