There seems to be a wide gap between activism and research in India. When I worked as a full-time activist, I encountered ( and even started to be influenced by) the suspicion towards research that my fellow activists had. I think they felt that research, at the most, only hinted at the problems but never attempted to solve them. On the other hand, as a student-researcher in a university today, I see the disregard that researchers and academics have towards activism and activists, often labelling them as too headstrong and difficult-to-work-with, devoid of objective and rational approaches and outlooks.
In such a depressing scenario, to find some motivation I turn to an article that Jean wrote many years ago. There is no point in summarizing it, for one must read it, entirely, word-by-word. Jean has promised to write the much-needed second part of it, so fingers crossed!
Here is the original one.