Sunday, April 6, 2014

The virtual dance of democracy

It is said to be the Dance of democracy. There are various superlatives given to our elections. The whole process of election makes the people feel powerful. All the so called powerful leaders will come and ask for the common man’s vote. What they do with the vote is an entirely different question. This time the social media is said to play a major role

 The amount of work these parties put into their online campaigning it would look like the election is going to take place in Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg as the electoral officer or that the election commission will consider the number of retweets and favourites also along with the cast vote.
Yes! XYZ Party gets more likes and hence we have a winner!

My favourite social media of the lot is twitter. I am pretty sure that the creators of twitter would have had one of those friends who just won’t keep quiet. They must have come up with this brilliant idea while talking to her/him.  

Anyways you open twitter now and it is elections all over. Full of trivia which no one really cares about. Major news handles trying to outreach other major news handles by bringing exclusive items about candidates' past and present. When they run out of such highly interesting trivia I am half expecting these people will go to some astrologer to get exclusive breaking news about the candidates’ future also. In fact that is a good idea. Instead of having the experts and political commentators they should have a panel of astrologers, psychics, tarot card readers, Paul the octopus (in spirit of course, which I am sure can be arranged) and have a healthy discussion on the future of the Indian democracy.  

Now things like candidate A wore a t shirt last year in a function which proves him to be an agent of the West or candidate B wore a kurtha pyjama last month which made him regressive and against development are getting momentum in twitter! This will ensure a series of tweets making fun of the said candidates and hordes of people supporting candidates A, B and C, more or less making it a trend. They will have childish twitter fights on how childish it is to fight on twitter. They will profess great ideas about how the country should be run in 140 letters. I mean where did all those ignorant geeks go? What happened to all the good old days when Poonam Pandey could start a trend with a single tweet? (Now even she has to resort to the English premier league) Or how Koffee with karan used to trend with its sheer brilliance! 

 Every day at least two of the top trends now are political in nature. This is setting a bad example to the upcoming generation that wants to join twitter. For them it’ll be a choice between the politically aware pseudo intellectuals of Twitter and the self obsessed ignorant teens and aunties of Facebook. That’s worse than choosing between Modi and Rahul Gandhi. 
I find solace in instagram now. Barring the selfie fever it is a wonderful social network to drool over the food you'll never eat and places you'll never visit. 

The following are some of the statistics I found while researching on this. (By research I meant Google. Isn't that kind of obvious?)

India has
114.8 Million Facebook users  ( )

A total of 147.8 million users

Around 18 % of the voters are in the social media but a staggering 49 % do not have access to electricity.
 This 18% is widely spread all over the country with probably a high density in the urban areas.

Do we have to politicize the social media also for this? Social networks are probably among the few places left where your religion, location, cast, political leanings don’t really matter. Why not keep it that way?
Do dance along for the democracy.

(Do share this with the pseudo intellectuals, ignorant teens and Google employees) 
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