Varun (making a hurried phone call to Rahul): Hey, are you free tomorrow afternoon for a conference call?
Rahul: Conf call about what? Not again about office (with a grimace on the face). I can adjust my calendar if it is not about office and that important as it sounds from your tone.
Varun: It is about a volunteer meet up session by the president of LokManch, the new political party launched in Bangalore one year back.
Rahul: Oh! No, not again …Varun, I have told you n number of times that politics is not my cup of tea and you won’t let me be…That’s not fair.
Varun: You are my best buddy and believe me this is not any more unethical politics with goons or powerful landlords. Please come and see for yourself. Were you not involved in India against Corruption movements and violence against Women rallies? We made so many things to change and it will be absolutely ridiculous to be indifferent and stay away from all these burning issues around. What do you think, my friend?
Rahul: I don’t have any problem with issue based discussions but ….
Varun: But, What? Now we are all talking about issue based discussion in same line of IAC for Politics. Is that clear or are you still in two minds?
Rahul (with a deep sigh): Ok, baba… I will come…
Varun (with a laugh.): Thanks buddy. There is a Facebook page created for the event… Pls sign up to indicate you are going and invite your friends…Got to go now to get many more Rahuls and Varuns. We are the future and can’t let others drive us to nuts anymore. See you tomorrow. We will talk in detail….
Though the above kind of conversations are getting more attention in last few months or years so to say, it is perceived in many countries – not in a state of war or revolution, that democracy is a granted phenomenon and do not have any direct effect on our day to day lives not evoking much interest from commoners. This was the situation in India till few years back. Media, the fourth estate of democracy playing a responsible role, has been sensible enough to bring up the details about the sordid state of Indian democracy out of the ditches and people - especially youth, have taken a note of it and retaliated. Some of the burning issues like corruption, public health, women’s safety are at your face and youth has been at the forefront of leading against the perpetrators.
In my view, Indian democracy is at the cusp of a change -a change with a positive momentum to drag it out from the slumber of age old dirty politics as it has been subjugated to from the day of Independence towards a more self-aware institution. Democracy is on the verge of driving itself rather being driven by a handful of people with vested interest.
There used to be a thought process that politics is a game where only people with muscle and economic power or with a strong family lineage can succeed and this arena is something out of the bounds of common people and mass. Good people are only harassed here as “Power corrupts; Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. With the hegemony of these powerful atrocities all around, the educated and suave lot, with the sheer diffidence of being crushed down physically or mentally, has stayed away, indifferently, from the realm of politics. Now, in the changed scenario of the digital age with distance between countries narrowing down and the result of actions -political , social or whatsoever having a worldwide repercussion, social media technologies have played a pivotal role in tying things together . With the involvement of technology, there is indeed a changed perception in the sense that today’s politics can’t be handled anymore if you are not aware of things around you -be it technologically or socially. This all pervasive awareness is drawing youth more to this melting pot of clean politics with a sense of urgency never seen before. This very thought process has created a positive inertia in society in general and youth in particular to have a say in the thick and things of what is going on. This has drawn a lot of us to take serious interest into it and making voices heard.
Traditional Media channels, playing a pivotal role in this whole transformation, have embraced the new kind on the block -ways of communication through social media channels which are proved to be by far the best channel for anything to be communicated to the section of the society called “youth”. Barriers of physical distance have fallen apart and an Indian in America is able to voice her or his opinion through social media applications. While there are few significant initiatives taken over social media in the form of websites used for vote appeal and or usage of SMS, there is much scope to auger further interest in politics. Let us think about a situation where a voice, data and video chat session is happening connecting political leaders with the local community leaders of populace to get insight into the local problems and how things can be improved involving the community. Taking a step further, a conference call can be thought about as a serious alternative meeting point to a mass rally for the targeted audience who choose to stay away from them for various reasons. I am sure that with issue based politics backed by technological advancements –there will be good amount of emotional connect that can be created within the youth. The future might lie in the whole voting process being conducted in a controlled manner by use of technology and people might execute their rights seating at the corner of their homes.
With this positive notion already observed in youth, am sure, that with right kind of messaging, the mental barriers of youth and commoners not taking part of politics will be washed away in the deluge of cleaning up the mess of your own backyard. The counting of the soldiers in this movement is growing from one to two, two to four, four to eight and numbers are growing each day. We are already on the run and positivity of clean politics has been let loose first time after gaining Independence – the time is “Now” and the action is to “join hands”.