2010 : Emergence of India 2.0

It’s funny how you tell the world to blog but end up procrastinating it yourself. But that’s the thing with blogs, while tweets and other updates are enough for daily views and discussions, there should be something worthwhile to blog about. Something should move you enough to make you ponder over it and pour your thoughts onto a blog.

All the controversies that have marred India this year and how they are related to captioned subject made me write this, with the latest Open Magazine expose being a perfect case in point. Lets quickly go back to the beginning of the year, when Tharoor was caught in the controversy of a lifetime. One of country’s most adroit politicians with a few lakh of supporters on twitter got caught in his own web when good friend Lalit Modi decided to send his fortunes for a toss with a simple tweet. Both are now to be found far away from their offices, while one spends time in his constituency , the other finds solace in another country.

Shashi Tharoor, Lalit Modi in happier times. 'Jab they Tweeted', everything changed

Move over to our beloved CWG (Controversy Worthy Games), and we saw how on one hand there was talk about even the toilet paper that was bought whereas broken bridges made us famous across the world. Kalmadi jokes were all around the place and the media left no stone unturned to ensure we all discuss, debate and bring the culprits to task. The good part was that even once after the spectacular games were over, people carried on with their wrath and eventually some heads rolled.

While that issue was simmering , our leaders were getting ready to give us more reason for our blood to boil. The 2G Scam, touted as the biggest the country has seen so far (1.7 lakh crore, i thought of putting it down in numbers, but was afraid i’d commit a mistake ) has left people befuddled and bedazzled over the magnanimity of it.  Cracked by a journalist from The Pioneer, J. GopiKrishnan , it has brought upon unprecedented shame upon the government with even the Supreme Court questioning the Prime Minister about his silence over the issue.

The Scamster A Raja

So far so good, but then came the shocker which perplexed many. Leading journalists of the country, Barkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi and other caught on tapes in a controversy involving lobbying and wrongly influencing masses under the effect of corporates. Open Magazine blew the lid, twiterrati went crazy, there are blogs on the subject by the dozen by now and everybody who got to hear about it is discussing it. But wait a minute..what about the media itself? What are they making out of this controversy? They should be airing all these recordings demanding explanations by these stalwarts right? Afraid they are not and in all probability they will continue with their blackout stance. But the point is we still got to know about it all and that’s what matters.

Barkha Dutt's large following on twitter turned against her when the scam was unearthed. On twitter, people may follow you, but that doesn't mean they love you.

The change is evident, what was a fad till an year ago is a reality today, we are becoming more open and how. Tharoor, Modi, Kalmadi, Raja have all been a victim of the ever increasingly aware becoming Indian, who talks, discusses, questions and helps create ripples nationwide which is eventually reflected in the powerhouses where the final decisions are taken. Social Media has not only helped people speak up, but led them to collaborate, form opinions and influence outcomes. You might call these facts baseless, but i sadly can’t do a qualitative analysis of the same and definitely wouldn’t be possible to get any tapes from the boardrooms.

If you are still skeptical, then lets talk about the Open Magazine controversy, where did you get to hear about it? You didn’t buy the magazine right? You read it online,  the link to which you got through a mail/tweet/fb update and still there’s such a big controversy around the same, ain’t it. How? You did it.  Social Media did it. And the same social media will keep ensuring we move towards openness, truth and being genuine; all of which has led to the emergence of the Indian who maybe online all the time but is doing enough to bring about changes in the offline world.

2010 will long be remembered as the year when India turned into India 2.0 . Be ready to witness an array of sting operations  in the coming times. Each one of us is now empowered to ‘break news’.

Prateek Shah


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P.S : There are more instances of Social Media playing an active role in bringing about change. Air India fiasco – http://bit.ly/aMDUzN , The Times of India reply to its Ayodhya headline – http://bit.ly/bYaMz9


5 Responses to “2010 : Emergence of India 2.0”

  1. 1 Ankush
    November 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Very nice article, Prateek. I used to think that I can trust our media for forming ‘informed’ opinions, but I’m afraid I was horribly wrong.

  2. November 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks Ankush. While the media still makes informed opinions, it is unfair of them to keep their own skeletons in the closet. They need to take a stand there as well.

  3. 3 Nsingh
    November 25, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Nice to reade more about the current situation in politics but in my view as i feel and under stand that there are great things which comes after a long and wait only with them who are nicely great not as we think but they are great in the eye of god………………..

  4. 4 ToothlessLion
    November 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    It is funny, the herd instinct of crowds. When a thousand people are decrying Barkha Dutt or Vir Sanghvi, it does not take that much heroism to join the baying crowds.

    Remember that this was the main stream media exposing corruption, not blogs or social media.

    To see the real power of citizen media (blogosphere), it is happening in China, not in India. The citizens are exposing corruption and getting their country cleaned up.

    In India ? I don’t think it is in the same scale.

    Indians may be tweeting but heck, has it made a real difference ?

    And social media activism can be easily controlled thanks to Indian laws, judiciary, police and main stream media itself with its high decibel level and paid news / private treaties based “ethics”, the rest being taken care of by Indian preoccupation with entertainment and easily flattered self-esteem.

    If you think that’s possible but not plausible, do get in touch!

  5. 5 Aabhash
    December 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Large scale or small scale, doesn’t matter, if the social media did make even one head role – that matters. Maybe it isn’t a revolution but it sure is a shake-up. What matters is the perpetrators are being questioned and heck they’ll have to answer.

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