Do you ever wonder who’s behind all the major mainstream activism accounts in India?
I do, all the time. Firstly, where do you get the willpower to deal with the backlash? But mainly, Who is this person who’s representing me? We always hold the leaders of our country accountable and demand clarity, then why not with those who lead our fight for rights?
I’ve never liked many of these advocacy accounts, just a chosen few. No. liked is the wrong word, I have never resonated with any of these advocacy accounts. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not mean to say they’re not inclusive. I acknowledge that they all try their level best to be inclusive. However, their inclusivity seems extremely scheduled, rigid, and planned. In the sense; They seem to have hard and fast rules and a structure as to how inclusivity works. They will not budge from this fixed plan and idea that they have created. Truly speaking, these rules work extremely well in their favor, they get brownie points for being “woke and inclusive“. If that’s the case then I have a few questions:
If you are so inclusive, then why do you use academic language, especially when talking about marginalized communities? without providing simplification.
If you are so inclusive, then why do you make fun of ‘TikTokers‘ and then make transition reels yourself? you reek of ignorance.
If you are so inclusive, then why are your posts more aesthetic-driven than content-driven?
Lastly, if you are so inclusive, then why do you dehumanize us, pretend like you’re saving us, and reduce us to objects of pity?
Reading the newspapers is a rollercoaster ride. Except it’s a rollercoaster you’ve been on multiple times so you know what’s coming, just once in a while your stomach sinks. On the front page, they villainize you and on the last page, they victimize you. Anyway, this is a different ball game altogether.
Coming to these advocacy pages, Obviously, nobody is outrageously going to discriminate, maybe they aren’t even aware of the existing bias in the head. Through subtle ways, their internalized bias comes forward. When they say things like, “these people need our help!” or “they’re in such a bad state“, etc. They make it sound like these marginalized communities do not live among them. Like they aren’t seeing and listening to what’s being said but we are.
You would never hear anyone talk about the community they themselves belong to like this. If you segregate yourself from them, then are you truly an ally? This is the point at which people from marginalized communities get averted from advocacy. We do not see our space, We do not see respect and genuineness. We feel degraded because truly if these advocates do not think that they have people from marginalized communities around them. They think of them as lesser, as uneducated and conservative, incapable of having social media. etc. This brings me to the next point.
Advocacy circles and friendships are so tightly gatekept. Of course, you may become friends with some of these activists, but they’ll always keep you at arm’s length, you’ll never feel like one of them, you will never get the chance to be in their close groups. Of course, the key rebuttal for this would be relatability. we’re here to advocate for our rights not match relatability quotients.
All images used are for representational purposes only.