Social Media and its Impact on Politics
March 10, 2016
Indian Politics is changing and one of the changes is the dependency over social media to connect with the people. India is a country of diversity and youth makes up a huge 34% of the total population of our country. The best way to reach such a massive community is to connect with them through social media which plays important part in their lives.
AAP ‘s Use of Social Media
During the Delhi elections in 2015, the power of social media was clearly felt. AAP used the modern way of campaigning and reached out to public. They were using the tool in a way no one has ever thought of. Most of their leaders made their presence felt on Facebook and Twitter. From Arvind Kejriwal to their grassroots workers, everyone leveraged social media to ensure that they are reaching out to larger audience. All this while, the BJP was trying to win the hearts of people by using the conventional way, the more familiar way of campaigning by going door to door and conducting rallies. Election results turned out to be the game changer and it also made sure that the social media will continue to play a vital role in the coming years of Indian politics.
Use of Social Media in Politics
Since that time, use of social media in politics has significantly increased. There are various ways by which people connect, by commenting, creating memes and even trolling. Their news feed is the space which they own and feel more comfortable. They don’t have to move out of their room to follow a certain political face or to be a part of campaign. The dependency over print media and electronic media has reduced as people can now be a part of news, express their views with others on this platform. Videos and pictures of sting operation are shared on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms showing the truth without any moderation. The common man participation in politics has increased.
The recent use of social media websites by Indian government has been much talked about. Mr. Suresh Prabhu, along with his team, very efficiently used Twitter for helping out the Indian Rail passengers in need. From sending food to school children by taking action on a tweet to helping women who tweeted that she is in distress due to harassment faced in her train journey, he has done everything right so far. Ministry of Railway’s heartiest efforts were truly a sweet surprise for the people who got assistance when they needed it the most. HRD Minister Sushma Swaraj has also been quite active on twitter and she also made her presence felt by promptly assisting on request over her twitter handle.
Social media has influenced politics and it has also increased interest of people in politics. The political parties have now taken social media as one of the most important channels for their public relations activities and almost every party has its official pages on Facebook and twitter where they post political updates, press releases and news about their campaigns. In recent times, social media has been a integral part of politics and its growth seems to be continuous.
#YearInReview: The Hashtags That Trended on Social Media in India in 2016
The word ‘media’ is derived from the word medium, signifying mode or carrier. Media is intended to reach and address a large target group or audience. The word was first used in respect of books and newspapers i.e. print media and with the advent of technology, media now encompasses television, movies, radio and internet. In today’s world, media becomes as essential as our daily needs. Media of today is playing an outstanding role in creating and shaping of public opinion and strengthening of society.
Media is the sword arm of democracy. Media acts as watchdog to protect public interest against malpractice and create public awareness. Today when politicians are taking full advantage of their positions, an evil nexus of mafia and crime syndicate is making the life of the common man miserable, taxpayer’s money is siphoned out for the personal gain of the influential and ordinary people are a mere spectator-media has a grater responsibility As the fourth pillar of democracy along with judiciary, executive and legislature, media of today has an all embracing role to act against the injustice, oppression, misdeeds and partiality of our society.
From the days abode, media has remained an integral part of human civilization. From the days of Vedas and Upanishads to edicts of kings and emperors like Chandragupta, Asoka to the medieval Indian mass gatherings to the modern day’s audio video and print media, media has always taken a pivotal role in shaping our society. During the days of freedom struggle newspapers like Tilak’s Maratha, Mahatmaji’s young India acted as a platform to place the demands of common Indian and to express solitude with freedom fighters. Indian media in post independence era has grown up phenomenally and today comprises of more than 50,000 newspapers, hundreds of television and radio channels.
In this era of liberalistion, privatisation and globalisation(LPG) the world has reached our drawing room thanks to media. Since the introduction of television in our country in late 70’s visual media becomes a very potential tool in informing the current news to the society, entertaining the people and shaping up of public opinion. The World Wide Web and web 2.0 technologies have given rise to electronic media where even a common man can express views through blogs, website posts, facebook and twitter like social media. Coupled with traditional print media all these audio video and social media caters to a richly diversified media industry in India.
Media helps in fighting against corruption, nepotism, cronyism of institutional machinery and carrying out relentless campaign against them. Way back in independent India from the Mundra case to the jeep scandal to the hawala case to the kickbacks received in different defense deals- Indian media performs commendably in exposing the corrupted highly placed statesman. In recent scams from commonwealth to 2G, exposed thanks to television and print media, media acted as a catalyst to government action compelling government to swing into action including suspending ministers and putting ministers into jail. Who can forget the crusade taken by Indian media in the Nirbhaya rape case and shaping the public opinion in one of the most heinous crimes the world has ever witnessed. Without media, the news of government schemes and benefits would have never reached the target audience.
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