Subtle Activism

I have always considered ‘activists’ to be cool people. People who have found a drive, a purpose, a channel for their energies, thoughts and actions. I not only sometimes think they are cool, I also think they are lucky, having found a cause to struggle and fight for. Nothing gives peace and tranquility more than a well-directed, well-oriented life/lifestyle.

Probably one of the main reasons I am biased toward activists is that I am not one. So the curiosity gets the better of me, I guess. And when today, after eventually casting my vote for NA-125 (Lhr Cantt), I walked out of the polling station, I had that eerie feeling that, ‘yes, I have played my part.’ I call that eerie because I never thought I would bother that much, come election day, but there I was, walking out of the polling station with a smile on my face and a blue mark on my thumb.

And while driving back with my Mother, who was adamant to cast her vote, I realized that voting is really a subtle form of activism and that by casting my vote I have retained my right to bitch about the corrupt people running (read ruining) an A-OK system. The same system that helps put food on my table, albeit it costs more than it used to; the same system that got my through school, college and a university, although I feel I didn’t learn much; the same system that help me run my business(es), although expanding without kickbacks always presents a hurdle.

I truly believe that the ‘system’ (a.k.a. constitution, society, culture etc) is not that bad at all. I also truly believe that although the system inherently provides for checks-and-balances, it is the people at the helm of affairs that end up twisting and manipulating it for their own – and strictly their own – benefit.

The problem lies with us; you, me and them. I can be honest and that is pretty much about it. You and them have to do that yourself.

2 Comments so far

  1. Aamir from USA (unregistered) on February 18th, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

    Indeed brother,its all about doing your part, and gaining the satisfaction that you played your role. After all we are just individuals and not powerful folk.

    I cant vote in Pakistan elections but in 2004, I voted for John Kerry, against George Bush even though I did not like Kerry, but I had to register my protest against Mr Bush’s Iraq adventure. It didn’t stop anything but I played my part.

    You have also played your part in determining the future of Pakistan.

  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 1:20 am

    Looks like your activism worked, at least in Lahore ;)

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