It’s too shameful to admit but I guess I was too shallow to judge them. Them, who kept shouting at the streets, them, who cut classes just to attend rallies and demonstrations. I always believe in justice and being impartial, but I guess I had blind spots. During my almost five years stay in the University I always think that they are plainly narrow-minded, blinded and rebellious souls.
It took a single encounter to know them. One volunteer event that I never knew will be political and social in nature. I went there with the heart of a social worker but not of a political activist. I feared that military presence will be evident in the place since it has political implications. My prophecy was fulfilled— here comes the men in camouflage.
My activists friends told me that the presence of the military in the area is their way of intimidating the indigenous people. Deep inside I thought, “Oh here they go again with their negative assumptions about the government and the military”. And guess what, somewhat they are right.
Neither PRO nor ANTI
I said “SOMEWHAT” they are right because at some point during the volunteer event, some men in camouflage became gate crusher and worst they even took pictures secretly. What could possibly be the motives of these people pretending to be civilians and secretly filming the whole thing.
On the other hand my theory is that they are suspicious that the activists are doing “brain washing” with the indigenous people. And I have one comment for that; OFCOURSE NOT!
They/We are there to facilitate the discussion and make it possible for indigenous people to strengthen their ties and decide solely for themselves. Since I was too critical of this event I really became very keen in observing what’s happening and there were no brain washing events that happened.
I can still remember when we discussed about the Critical tradition in social qualitative research. The tradition that believes that in a society there will always be oppressors and oppressed; emphasizing its bias on the Oppressed. I am not much impressed with To see is to believe drama, but it is undeniably innate for many human beings. We can connect, relate, understand and partake once we have been there, once we experienced it first hand, once we have seen it— with our very own eyes.
Actually I don’t want to deal more on the truth or fallacy of the activists and governments claims about each other at least in this write-up. Rather I want to highlight that I salute the activists/rebels in their deep devotion and passion in fighting for human rights. Though most of them are seen as delinquent students I also see them as people who believe that Active compassion is better than sympathy or worst indifference and selfishness. I will be committing the fallacy of hasty generalization if I will say that all activists are clean and upright, but given my context and the people I had an interaction with, I believe that they are not doing this for personal gain nor for wealth but for justice and nationalism.
Disclaimer: I am neither an activist nor pro-government but I believe that both sides should be heard. I believe that God elected the government so the people should submit. But in times of imperfections, corruption and abomination towards the people and GOD, we should respond in a Christ-like manner.