India’s modern day activists on Twitter (CNN)

India’s modern day activists on Twitter

This is a list of a select few activists in India dedicating their time and efforts to stand for justice in their country. Here’s what they are saying on Twitter:

  1. 1. Farhan Akhtar — Actor, anti-rape campaigner

    Following the ongoing rape crisis in India, Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar, 39, from Mumbai, is using his status symbol to influence Indian men and boys to become real “MARDs” — Men Against Rape and Discrimination, also meaning “men” in the national language of Hindi. He is also encouraging fellow stars of the screen as well as sport to join his cause:

  2. Thank you @sachin_rt for supporting #MARD. Marathi poem in his voice to go online soon…
  3. 2. Aamir Khan — Actor, human rights campaigner

    Leading actor Aamir Khan, 48, from Mumbai also uses his influence to raise awareness on humanitarian issues. In 2012, he began a television chat show called Satyamev Jayte — The Truth Alone Prevails — discussing controversial issues such as female foeticide and child sex abuse. His prominence means his efforts are noted by policy makers:

  4. Hey guys, great news! The Lok Sabha has passed the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill today!!! Unbelievable!!! Super News! 
  5. 3. Arvind Kejriwal — Politician, campaigner

    Politician and social activist Arvind Kejriwal, 44, from Haryana drafted the Jan Lokpal bill, which enables independent investigation of corruption cases. He also established the Right to Information (RTI) act in 2006, which gives citizens the right to access information from public authorities, such as the government, to increase their transparency.

    In November last year in the country’s capital of Delhi, he began a political party called Aam Aadmi, meaning “common man,” reflecting the section of society he says he has chosen to represent.
    Coming across as outspoken and forthright, Kejriwal recently tweeted his invitation for two fellow politicians to join his party and fight the opposition:
  6. I invite Ashok khemka to join Aam Admi Party and fight elections against Mr Hooda and defeat him.
  7. 4. Maneka Gandhi — Politician, animal rights activist and environmentalist

    It’s not just human rights that are being fought for. Maneka Gandhi, 56, from Delhi, is a politician, animal rights activist and an environmentalist. She is also a former model and widow of politician Sanjay Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi — India’s first female prime minister in office from 1980 to 1984. 

    Gandhi founded the charity People for Animals in 1992 — the largest animal welfare organisation in India. And she is active on Twitter, raising awareness of her campaigns and sharing her successes:
  8. This is to inform you all that ALL THE 28 BEAGLES have been rescued and have been ADOPTED by TATA and AMBANI FAMILIES living in BANGALORE.
  9. 5. Medha Patkar — Environmentalist

    Medha Patkar, 58, from Mumbai is best known for her work with the National Alliance of People’s Movements and Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). The latter is a social movement working to protect people affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project to build a dam on the Narmada River and its tributaries which flow through the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

    Initiated in the 1940s by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and delayed ever since, she says the consequence will be hundreds of thousands of inhabitants displaced.

    Fighting against environmental destruction, Patkar believes the recent floods in the northern state of Uttarakhand in June, that claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands missing, were man-made:
  10. Fraudulent development has blasted people and pahad of #Uttarakhand
  11. 6. Kiran Bedi — Anti-corruption campaigner

    Kiran Bedi, 64, from Amritsar was the first female police officer in the Indian Police Service IPS), before she retired in December 2007. She was also the host and judge of the popular television series “Aap Ki Kachehri” — meaning “your court” — which broadcasts and settles real-life disputes.

    Aside from developing two NGOs for community development, prison reformation, preventing drug abuse and safeguarding child welfare, Bedi joined Arvind Kejriwal and well-known activist Anna Hazare in the India Against Corruption (IAC) people’s movement, encouraging the government to establish the Jan Lokpal bill.
    She is unafraid of holding authority accountable when it appears insincere:
  12. When a politician appears like a bureaucrat he appears to be knowledgeable. But when bureaucrat works like a politician he loses trust
  13. 7. Dr. Vandana Shiva — Physicist, philosopher and environmentalist

    Dr. Vandana Shiva, 60, from Dehradun, has spent more than two decades working to save the environment and promote sustainable living. She founded “Navdanya” in 1991, campaigning to protect the diversity of natural resources and promote organic farming and fair trade. 

    She also advocates “ecofeminism” — making agriculture more sustainable by including women:
  14. The movement to stop #violenceagainstwomen and ensure safety for women & related #paradigmshift must inform the discussion on #Biosafety.
  15. As well as…. Arundhati Roy 

    Last but definitely not least, there are also activists acclaimed for their endeavors, but without a presence on Twitter. 

    Arundhati Roy, 51, from Shillong rose to fame after winning the 1998 Man Booker Prize for fiction for her novel: “God of Small Things” and continues having a strong presence through her political campaigning. She vocalizes her concerns with India’s nuclear program and opposes the Narmada Dam project. 
    Despite not having a Twitter profile, she has many followers, who ensure her words are shared:
  16. “To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch.” —Arundhati Roy
  17. And… Kisan Baburao Hazare 

    Probably one of the most notable activists is Kisan Baburao Hazare, better known as Anna Hazare, who has firmly, yet peacefully, campaigned against corruption and promoted rural development. 

    He often uses Gandhi’s method of hunger strikes as protest and his staunch refusal to stop until he sees change has earned him support, as well as criticism.
    Although not on Twitter himself, his actions often make him a hot topic of tweets, including his visit to the United States to lead the popular India Independence Day parade in New York:


  18. On behalf of Indian American community, USINPAC welcomes Mr. Anna Hazare, who plans to lead India’s I Day parade in

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