Consider the powerful impact created by Wael Ghonim – who launched the Egyptian revolution using Facebook. So, why aren't Indians using the internet as effectively – for governance reform?
I decided to explore the blog scene in India, and chanced upon the following question in a Deccan Chronicle article:
With more than a million people, can we name at least five eminent bloggers in any field such as finance, architecture, culture or history? Blogging is a medium that directly connects with people and is a great way to get instant online feedback. It makes interaction quick and reliable. Then why aren’t the Indian audiences making full use of it? [Source]
The author of this article conducted some research:
Gurcharan Das stops to think for a moment. “People are so used to reading articles in magazines or newspapers that the transition to reading it online, regularly is yet to take off,” he says. Satish Kantheti, joint MD of ZEN Money explains that the slow growth can be attributed to the unavailability of the internet. Designer Anamika Khanna agrees, but goes on to add that blogging will be huge in the near future.
Gurcharan has one of India's most popular political blogs (his articles are available here), but he doesn't actively operate it. That is, in my view, is the problem. Good Indian writers have not yet branched out on a significant scale into the blogsphere (citizensphere).
I'm a nobody but even then I've found the internet to be useful in reaching out to people across vast distances. Indeed, I've only incidentally used traditional media so far, and I am increasingly inclined to use the internet, particularly after my first book has out-"sold" most Indian authors ever published upon its becoming available freely online. And since I started dabbling with this blog (in around July 2010), I've found that I'm able to reach out to a respectable (and growing) audience with minimal effort.
If a nobody like me can reach out to thousands of people this way, imagine what established writers can achieve through the internet – WITHOUT THE INTERMEDIATION of ignorant, holier-than-thou "journalists" and "editors"? The time has come for everyone to talk to each other DIRECTLY. And work towards the governance we want. Wouldn't that be true democracy? True deliberative, liberal democracy?
The internet is becoming a very important medium for writers, politicians, economists and philosophers. They ignore it at their peril. I can bet my last rupee that had Gandhi been alive today he would have been a blogger (and not just a writer for Young India).
In a mere 18 months I'm a convert to this new way of communication.
Indian political blogs
While I'm on this topic, I'd encourage you to consider subscribing to the following Indian blogs.
- Satyameva Jayate FTI member [classical liberal]
- Indian Liberals – Ashish Deodhar's blog [classical liberal]
- Expressions (Bhagwad Jal) [left-leaning libertarian]
- Atanu Dey on India's Development FTI speakers panelist [but pro-BJP]
- Offstumped [economic liberal but pro-BJP]
- Gurcharan Das's blog [classical liberal]
- Internationalist FTI member [classical liberal]
- Vidyut Jain's blog FTI member [classical liberal]
- Careless Whispers FTI member [classical liberal]
- India of my dreams FTI member [classical liberal]
- Sagarone FTI member [classical liberal]
- Unite India FTI member [classical liberal]
- When thoughts seek expression FTI member [classical liberal]
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