It’s been twenty days! Wow! Has it?
Yes! Twenty days that sped past us. Twenty days that the Kashmiris felt like twenty years.
Any time there is a world crisis or a human tragedy our attitude is one of rise and fight, then settle and comment and eventually deflate and recenter.
Re-centering usually brings us back to our daily life. Work, kids, our partner, you know, the usual!
There’s that initial adrenaline surge and then the slow compromise of sorts with the situation. Activism is a strange thing. Online activism even stranger. It can get old really fast if we don’t really care for our cause and just jump on the bandwagon that most popular people are on.
The froth effect as I call it, honestly, doesn’t form an activist or an advocate. The gossip effect and engagement effect, that happens on closed and secret groups, is even more of a delusion of being proactive. The consistent effect is what counts. The constant presence, even if not vehement or strident in its quality, is what counts. Public advocacy counts.
What these flimsy shows of activism do is actually detrimental to the cause. What people see is a hundred thousand posts a day happening for Kashmir on Day 1. What people notice is the posts dwindling down to a few hundred by the time the twentieth day rolls around. To the astute opponent it looks like a deflating effort. It’s actually an accurate observation. People who oppose the cause are seeing the activists as reducing in numbers and strength. People affected by the tragedy view it as a lack of support but worse, as a reduction in support and even worse than that, a lack of concern from people that they had previously been counting on.
Human mind is a fascinating thing. Within the same day it goes through hope and despair. Within the same day it experiences victory and defeat at the hands of its own thought processes. I can sense a lack of support from previously active people. The Kashmiris can too.
In support of activists! Advocating for a cause is exhausting work. It’s draining and sometimes downright demoralizing. Channel your energies where they bring force and power to the cause. Engaging in online battles with ill-informed people isn’t the calling of an activist. Make public posts but avoid engaging with people who are nonsensically speaking and actually may be biased to their version of the cause. That doesn’t help us. Trust me, people who support the perpetrators of a crisis have a lot of energy to prove and think of themselves as right. Those people aren’t worth your time. Kashmiris are worth your time. Those should be the real recipients of your energies.