I must write this before I am drowned in "armchair activism".
Armchair Activism refers to efforts to influence socio-political change through the ineffective use of e-mail and Web sites, ignoring safer, more effective means of advocacy. Armchair Activism comes in two basic flavors: the e-petition and the boycott chain. Both are typically poorly designed, misguided and pitifully ineffective.(Taken from Break the chain)
A few days back I received an email asking me to sign an online petition protesting against the move to have reservation for SC/ST in private sector companies. Of course, I did not sign the petition. Anyone can create a online petition and any one can sign it. If you really want to support a cause, then break into your piggy bank. Put your money where your mouth is. Seriously, if you care about something, is creating a petition on PetitionOnline.com the best you can do ? If you want to see some change in the way the system works, you have to exert yourself. We live in a real world, where decisions are not changed because some minister receives an email with hundreds of signatures (none of which can be verified). Emails can be deleted and forgotten about. However, it is hard to delete the articles in the newspapers, it is harder to ignore the criticisms on the TV and it is even harder to ignore people protesting on the streets or sitting on a hunger strike or a Public Interest Litigation filed against a government decision.