Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs is very relevant in understanding psychology of activists.
According to Maslow, human needs can be presented in form of a five-level pyramid with the most basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid and highest level needs at the top.
5. self-actualization (morality, creativity, achievement etc.)
1. physiological needs (food, clothing, shelter)
As per Maslow’s theory, people will first try to satisfy their physiological i.e., lowest level needs such as food, clothing, shelter etc. Once the lowest order need is satisfied, they will try to satisfy higher level needs such as safety and belongingness. Once that is satisfied, they will think of esteem. And finally, when all lower order needs are satisfied, they will think of self-actualization.
This theory is applicable to activists. More particularly in developing countries like India; there is a problem of unemployment. To start with something, activists accept funds for campaigning. Sacrificing morality, they come out with tailor-made unscientific reports. Once they get addicted, they want to make a quick-buck through funded campaigns.
There is also a rush to claim “compensation” for which people try to prove that they are “endosulfan victims”. Some politicians distribute funds to such victims despite the fact that the expert committee appointed by the government has concluded that there is no link between alleged health effects and Endosulfan.