Social Media in Kashmir – Parroting ye Olde Yaps

23 August, 2010 at 15:17 1 comment

In general, I think social media is a hype and a fad. Just because new services keep coming up all the time like WordPress or YouTube or Facebook or Twitter or whatever and people with internet connections on PC and increasingly mobile, can register and dump their neurosis and details of their breakfast or weekend plans on it does not make it a media in the true sense of the proverbial fourth estate. Let alone their purpose of creation, but these services serve a secondary function of channels for communication, information and broadcasting. If one studies history, there were innumerable channels and every one of them has been exploited by groups to tell the truth and lies. It is just human nature to spread propaganda and protect their own vested interests. What I guess am saying is that just because people in Kashmir have started using so-called social media, it does not mean that they have started to speak out or have found a new voice or something profound like ‘power to the masses’ junk. They just discovered and have the means of a new medium to tell the world what they have been telling for the past many years – India sucks (we all know that). What is sad though is that most of the ramblings of the misquided youth seem to be about hardships of the people (but not themselves) and atrocities of the state (they are unaffected from). So, when I saw this story, “Social Media in Kashmir is Happening”, I could not resist a quick doodle –

Now I have a theory of why that is. Simple one really. The really oppressed people never have the resources to tell their story. It is the vultures and crackheads – read, big media or citizen media – who tell the story that others want to hear. No one wants to hear the story of a shopkeeper who is bankrupt because some paid rogues pelt stones in gay abandon causing curfews. No one want to hear the story of the girl who has had a free ride to education just because she was born in Kashmir while several others born in other states and far more deserving do not get even basic schooling. No one wants to hear the story of how many innocent people get killed everyday and the staggering underperformance of Jammu and Kashmir as an economy because of silly avoidable conflicts day in and day out. There is frustration and anger. Well, boo-hoo, every citizen of every country feels that way at some point or the other. Everyone in India hates the country at a gut level for its gawaar netas and rowdy police as much as the other guy but not everybody resorts to throwing stones nor using social media to tell the world – which hardly gives a damn BTW – the oppression, corruption and violence. Keep saying it like a parrot only makes it diluted, boring and depressing. In other words, share stories and stop cribbing. Importantly, don’t yap and please use more than 140 characters.

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    Entry filed under: Business, Citizen-Journalism, Computers/ICT, CWorks, Economy, India, Life-Theories, News-Media, Politics, Trak.in, WebXP.

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