Delhi University has seen a fair share of protests and marches in the past few weeks. While a huge section of the student community enthusiastically participated in rallies, another section chided the protesters for wasting their time and energy. If you happen to fall in the latter group and hold disdain for demonstrations, allow me to convince you otherwise.Here are five reasons why it is important to come out for protests:
1. Protests bring attention to issues and help drive the narrative forward. Media coverage keeps the issues at the forefront and makes people aware. The bigger the crowd, the better is the exposure. Therefore, it’s important to participate in protests rather than just click ‘Like’ on Facebook, as at the end of the day authorities only take cognizance when there are a huge number of people involved.
2. Protests often result in forging solidarities across different backgrounds and even ideologies. Such consolidation unites people against a common enemy and gives strength to the movement.
3. It’s better to attend a parade, rather than complaining and doing nothing. Surely, there are more effective ways of expressing dissent, but sometimes strikes and rallies are the only options left when all other attempts are met with apathy.
4. Protests inspire positive social change. Historically, all radical advancements have been achieved by sustained strikes and sit-ins. It was because of civil disobedience that we won our civil rights.
5. Protests strengthen representative democracy by enabling direct participation of the masses in public affairs. Basically, demonstrations display democracy in action.
I know, many of us maintain distance when it comes to our involvement in political campaigns. One major reason for such behavior is a simple notion that considers activism futile and inconvenient, but we live in times when we can’t afford our conveniences or the luxury of remaining apolitical. As much as we would like to believe otherwise, the fact is that all our personal problems are political problems as well. Politics is directly deciding our future, so it’s only logical to challenge the politics that distorts our social fabric. If we don’t dissent and remain indifferent then we’ll be guilty of complicity.
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