Social media is not Congress’s cup of tea

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20 Jan 2013

4 media is not Congress’s cup of tea&id=nc

Social media is not Congress's cup of tea

We hear of how Congress is becoming wise to the ways of social media. A ToI report speaks of how the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has deputed “a team of officials” to track the daily goings-on in the Indian social media sphere. The Ministry, the report says, has also significantly increased its presence on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and even blogs.

While on the face of it, the Government’s growing up to the way of the web may be seen as a welcome development, there is still a vast generation gap Congress has to jump across before it can truly belong on the social web. If the shock with which Rahul Gandhi reacted to angry tweets against Sonia Gandhi’s speech at the ‘Chintan Shivir’ is anything to go by, the conversational spirit behind Twitter is something that escapes the Congress way of thinking.

The reason Congress seeking a future on the social web is amusing is that social media is the exact opposite of what Congress is. As several instances of the Government falling out with social media folk last year have made clear, Congress thinking is still stuck somewhere in the Emergency years. Thinking that will draw boundaries around national discourse. Thinking that will seek to determine what is allowed to be said and what is not. Thinking that will make distinctions between what constitutes free speech and what is not, owing to ‘reasonable restrictions’.

To accomodate the Congress’s way, the Internet will have to turn into Prasar Bharati — basically something governed, dictated, controlled and moderated by the Government — which has largely been Congress since independence.

The Internet, in order to become the Congress’s future, will have to transform into a media landscape populated entirely by left-liberal, marxist thinkers, scholars, historians and other assorted experts. People who would preach from Centrally-funded pulpits and fear no response. People who would feed their relatively resourceless audience blatant, one-sided views and label all dissenting voices as ‘communal’ or ‘fundamentalist’.

The reason social media, as it exists today in the virtual space spanning people’s computers and mobile devices, will not easily translate to a Congress future is simple — it is a reaction to the media landscape spawned by Congress during its rule of post-British India.

The angst that exists on the social web against the current Government at the Centre is angst that found no expression when the old media infrastructure instituted by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty was in force. The Internet Hindu hordes that seem to be overrunning the news feeds of certain outraged TV news anchors are a manifestation of that angst.

In order for Congress to have any kind of a future in social media, or for social media to have any place in the Congress’s future, the party is going to need to become an open, democratic, and conversational space. And that, if examples set by our silent Prime Minister, stone-cold Congress chief, and arrest-happy Union Ministers are anything to go by, is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Vijayendra Mohanty is a writer and journalist based out of Noida and is Senior Editor at NiTi Central. His interests include storytelling, cultural discourses, religion, and mythology.

(c) NiTi Digital. Reproduction and/or reposting of this content is strictly prohibited under copyright laws.

4 media is not Congress’s cup of tea&id=nc

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  • darkalley

    The congress till date has tried to build a false narrative in the country.
    They have build false notions of inter-faith harmony, when there is none.
    they appease the minorities, but never seriously try to look for their betterment.

  • cbril_zen

    Fascist parties hate free media, which is what social media is.

    It is not a secret that Congress is a champagne socialist party bordering on tendency of fascist attributes when public opinion goes against. The recent example of Delhi police force lathi charging 70 year old grandmothers was no surprise.

    Congress party resembles the Nazis more than any mainstream political party in the world. Congress would happily ethnically kill huge swathes of people for their own personal gain. One just has to look at recent example of Assam where the indigenous Assamse are being murdered and displaced by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants with helping hand from Congress state government. And how can anyone forget the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who were murdered, raped, banished from their Kashmir homeland whilst Congress and it’s Kashmir state government ally stood idle.

    If ever there were a fascist organization then Congress led by descendant of an Italian fascist military general truly fits the bill. And Manish Tiwari is the Goebbels of India, spouting propaganda to keep the citizens subjugated.

  • R. Umesh Naik

    The present day Congress is given life upon three matters:
    (1) Fascism – control over media, telling lies like Rss a terrorist outfit, T waris and rupee waris blubberings on various matters, handling the paid media, controlling the executive authorities by hook or crook and any other matters spreading lies for their own benefit.,

    (2) Appeasement : giving special concessions/scholarships etc. to and only to certain sections of the society when most of the other communities suffer like anything, pampering Jihadis like passing resolution in the assembly (ref. kerala assembly)to free the terrorist from Coimbatore/Bengaluru Jail-though the UPA GovT. is aware of the fact that this terrorist is the main link to the international terrorist outfits,

    (3) Looting/Swindling/syphoning of natins exchequer and public money in every field and day to day matters.

    It is high time good nation loving people unite and oust these unholy crooks from all the levels of the society., and clean the system sooner than later.

  • Piper

    In my opinion, it would really be great for the citizens (civilians). It is a bad thing for the government. For example, let’s say each member of congress has a twitter account, where all of the voters may post comments regarding different political issues. When they represent the people, it will be obvious whether they are really representing their states, counties, etc., or whether they are representing their own political agendas. I personally think that is the reason that it will never happen. When people start to realize that our opinions on certain matters do NOT matter when bills get passed or vetoed, there is going to be a hell of a mess.

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