Who says activism and wanting to change the world is only for the young and feisty? As we grow older, we see more of the world and have a much more stable view of the world than we did in our early years. This is why seniors with a clear view of the world have a greater chance at making a difference. And these seniors did just that- they made a difference where no one else wanted to step in.
- MM Kalburgi: A renowned writer and winner of the Sahitya Akademi award for his written works, a historian for life and a proponent of the idea that history must not be conveniently rewritten to satisfy current situations, Kalburgi worked very hard to unearth and present the history and heritage of the Lingayat community of Karnataka. While his unabashed views didn’t end so well for him, he remains an inspiration due to his strong opinions and straightforward nature.
- Medha Patkar: Most activists receive more hatred than love, and Medha Patkar is no exception. The face of the “Narmada Bachao” Andolan, she has been called several names. Questions have been raised about her true motive several times over. Fact remains, however, that she works for tribal rights and no amount of denial can change that.
- Arundhati Roy: No discussion of the Narmada Bachao Andolan is complete without a mention of Ms. Roy, a Booker Prize winner for God Of Small Things who lent her extremely influential voice to a cause.
- Kancha Ilaiah: Perhaps one name on the list that doesn’t bring back an instant reference is that of this Dalit rights activist. Having witnessed discrimination from an early age, Kancha Ilaiah has worked hard to improve access to education and opportunities for backward classes.
- Arvind Gupta: Not an activist in the general sense of the word, his toys have put him on the world map, because he makes them from discarded waste. Think saving the planet and encouraging innovation in one stroke. And he comes with a degree from a reputed IIT too! In his own words, he “”placed more faith in small positive action than empty rhetoric.”
Who is one activist whose cause has touched you? Would you consider ever taking up a cause and fighting for it?
Image courtesy Hindustan Times