Saturday, 13 December 2014

How Social Media is building a stronger India !!

   In our school days , our teachers try to imbibe patriotism in us !! We r made to stand up for National Anthem , National song , sometimes are made to attend 15th August and 26th January celebrations !! There are times when we have to write Essays n give speeches on birthdays of few top leaders !! We may be encouraged to do dramas on annual day !! Thus , in this manner , our schools try to imbibe patriotism within us right since childhood !!

   But , then a question arises !! Is that enough ?? We find , that most of us , if not all, on growing up , get lost in the maze of life , and find little time n will to bother much about the country , beyond paying taxes, or voting in elections !! There r several reasons for that !!  Some of us may grow up to join military , para military or police forces ! These forces do serve the country ! But they can give it only security ! The direction in which the country will head , is not determined by them , as their control itself is in the hands of ministers !!

   The fact is , that many of us do have d will to serve d country in ways other than what the military/paramilitary forces do !! But what we lack is DIRECTION !! Thats where Social media comes into picture !! The following are some important ways in which social media is helping in building our Nation !!

1) Sharing Of Information - of present and past !!
a) Past

   Another problem which arises is that of information !! A patriot , who does not learn from history , may repeat the same mistakes n this may be destructive for the country !! In Congressi India , its a known fact that our history textbooks r not what they should be like !! On the name of " (psuedo) secularism " , our glorious ancient Culture is denied to us !! For instance , we dont find Ramayan n Mahabharat being taught in history books which should be compulsory !! Also , several important facts n must know events of our history are distorted !! Take for instance , barbaric mughal kings n pre mughal muslim kings r glorified in our history , while several Indian heroes and kings do not find their proper place in textbooks !! Most Indians would not know much about historical figures like Chandragupta Maurya, Ashok , Chandragupta 1 ,Samudragupta , Chandragupta Vikramaditya , Harshvardhan , Rajendra Chola n many other figures !! We also dont knwo much about traitors like Jaichand n Shiladitya who betrayed India !! The fake Aryan Dravidian theory is also fed to us which is destructive for India !! Indian history textbooks were manupulated by British to suit their needs , ie to create generations of Indians who r totally detached from their glorious history , without a doubt the most glorious in the world , and can easily be subdued !!

   In our bad times , our past achievements motivate us !! The same applies for our Country !! The difference is that an individual's bad times may last for a few years whgile a Country's bad times may span decades , or at times centuries !! But the opportunity to get motivated from our glorious past has been wrongly n largely denied to us by our academic history textbooks , as this would be detrimental to the interest of our rulers !! This also explains , y the history of Independent India is still not a part of history textbooks even 67 years after freedom , despite these 67 years being equally dramatic n significant !!

   In the past , the only other sources of unbiased n untwisted history were books !! For instance , comics like Amar Chitra Katha !! But these were not always easily available !! Thats where the role of social media comes into picture !! The internet n social media changed this !! Several sites began appearing on history !! The Videos uploaded on Youtube made history far more varied n interesting than it ever was before !! Also , the concept of blogging and micro-blogging gave several knowledgeable persons an opportunity to share their knowledge of history to people !! Wikipedia gave stunning details of even the smallest events of our History !!

   Thus , due to internet n social media , gone are the days that Indians had to be denied their glorious history !! Now , all u require is a mobile phone , a net pack , n a hungry brain !! In the wikipedia era , nothing can prevent u from knowing how Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose , with help from Rash Bihari Bose created INA , or why was Chandragupta Vikramaditya famous ,why India lost the 1962 war to China, or why the age of Guptas was actually the golden period n so on !! There is no dearth of people in Indian history to get inspired from , n this treasure is now available !!

b) Present

   Another important contribution of social media is enhancing our knowledge of Current affairs !! As it is well known , most of our mainstream media is biased and paid !! We rarely get a true picture of the current affairs through Paid media !! Also , news channels do not show all the news at the same time !! In this era where time for watching news is scarce , it becomes even more difficult to get a clear picture of affairs around the country !! Thats where internet and social media come into picture !! The internet contains loads of news giving websites !! There are also specific websites which cover special categories of events !! Social media brings such websites to your doorstep !!

  But the most important contribution of social media is the growth of citizen journalists !! Social media gives a platform to citizen journalists !! Now , anyone can become a journalist , report news about their area , n sometimes about their fields , n thus help spread the truth !! That is the reason y Mainstream media dreads social media !! Gone are their days of monopoly !! With spread of internet n growth of social media , their influence will reduce in the future !!

2) Unifying people with a common cause

Also , another problem is that it is not always easy to do things alone , most of us will need people to work with us , which we may not always find , in our neighbourhood !! Thats where social media helps !! People with a common cause , common ideological tilt , common passion to bring change , can unite on social media !! For instance , in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections , many people who would never have known each other came together , n campaigned unitedly , for the political parties they supported !! This was especially helpful for BJP , as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was able to capitualize on the enormous support he had on social media !! Thus , bringing a change in India , has become a step easier now , with the advent of social media !!

3) Direct connect between the leaders n their people

   India is a vast country with diverse people , n equally diverse leaders !! The local factors n thus , the local leaders do play an important role in governing the Country !! The airtime of TV/Radio media is limited , and so is the space available on newspapers !! The regular activities of each n every leader , can thus cannot be covered by the mainstream media !! Also , the media usually presents the negative picture of Indian MPs n politicians !! The good work done by an MP/MLA is not usually shown due to the obsession of our media with sensationalizing news !!  All National leaders do not get total coverage , so forget coverage of local leaders !! That's where social media comes to the helm !!

Now , even local political leaders can directly connect to folks across the country without the intermediate mainstream media medium !! Sitting in Mumbai , u can know about the work being done by a minister in new Delhi , or even an MP from Assam , if they use social media !! There's a reason y the Prime Minister advised his ministers to come on social media !! This direct connect between the leaders and the masses helps strengthen our democracy !!

A short history of my journey in social media
   I joined social media in 2007 !! In those days , the social media was in its extreme infancy !! The most popular socializing tools on internet in those days were Orkut and Yahoo Messenger !! Both of which I joined upon insistence by a friend !! I created an Orkut Account in September 2007 , forgot its password , n created another 1 in December !! Those were the dayz of my 10th standard !! In those times , economy was doing great , the momentum generated by the previous NDA government was still going strong , and thus , a 10th Std Child had little need to worry about the Country , and as a consequence , little conciousness in this regard !!

   But things were soon to change !! As orkutians might remember , unlike facebook , orkut had 'communities' instead of pages !! Orkut had an 'India' community , which had the nickname IC370 ,as that was the last term in its address [link] !! In Communities , we had forum , where anyone could start any topic for discussion n people would discuss on it , and we had polls !! Even in those days , all sorts of current affairs were discussed on Orkut , n thats where my political awakening started !! I realised that Indian history is not the way it has been taught to us , n the current affairs r not the way media is presenting it !! I was a daily attendee of the forums on IC370 , sometimes I myself would start a forum or a poll !!

   As the days went by , I kept on realising the misdeeds that are being done n have been done by various political parties , n the upa government !! By the time , General elections of 2009 appeared , I had collected enough material in my head to tell anyone why congress should be voted out and BJP under Advani ji be  brought in !! And when congress won the elections that year , I knew it pretty well , way back in 2009 , before many people had realised it , that this is a DOOM for India !! Even though none of the political leaders or journalists existed on Orkut , it had laid a solid foundation for the future of the changes brought by social media in India !!

   2009 was the year when Orkut's influence starting to wane n Facebook started picking up !! And thus , I , who had already opened account in Facebook in April 2008 , also started to use it actively , on daily basis !! Facebook pages and groups , initially were not as interesting as Orkut communities , but nonetheless had the same effect over time !! Several politically knowledgeable people opened facebook pages , n started posting political statuses n articles over them ! thereby only increasing the political acumen of people !! It continues till this day !!

   Twitter , which I joined in November 2009 , was a step further !! It introduced the concept of micro-blogging , which brought several celebrities , journalists , citizen journalists and other knowledgeable people from all fields of life to it !! Thus , allowing access to the opinions of a variety of people !! People now could simply write blogs , n post them on twitter , for their followers to read !! Twitter is all about following the right people , who can act as eye openers on various issues !! For instance , the blog mediacrooks is very popular on twitter and it helps u understand Indian mainstream media in and out !! Overtime, on social media , 1 can switch from the one being awakened , to the one who also awakens !! Also , usually , both the processes continue simultaneously !!

   Thus ,social media has brought some great positive changes in the Country !! And it is growing stronger with time !!

1 comment:

  1. All in all nicely written. Shedding light to nuance importance of social media usage. Orkuts community was a starter a nice tit-bit info for me, thanks. This blog sets perfect platform for you, to write your personal journey/experience (big/small), your contribution in this journey, more in 1st person account.