OPINION- Social Media - Now 5th pillar of democracy

Author(s): Harish Monga DidoPolitical parties are on its toes right from now for making their election strategies in view of Lok Sabha polls and also assembly elections in a few states in the coming months.  No doubt, the India is proud...

OPINION- Social Media - Now 5th pillar of democracy

Political parties are on its toes right from now for making their election strategies in view of Lok Sabha polls and also assembly elections in a few states in the coming months.  No doubt, the India is proud to be of its democracy but with the passage of time, the election processes have also changed and the Election Commission have also become stronger with expectations of fair elections but it still needs more teeth to check the heavy expenditure in the elections to allure its votes.

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the only strong opposition party in India against Congress have made special plans to attract the youth voters during 2014 Lok Sabha elections and also taken a decision to use the ‘Social Media’, now known as 5th important pillar of democracy, being run by the youths of India.  Congress has not given any indication of such plans but had been talking about the youths continuously. In fact, during the last decade, all the political parties had been focusing on youths.

The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses”, said Malcolm X.

Today, media is considered the fourth pillar of the state all over the world as media plays a crucial role in shaping a healthy democracy. It is the backbone of a democracy. Media makes us aware of various social, political and economical activities happening around the world. It is like a mirror, which shows us or strives to show us the bare truth and harsh realities of life.

When any civil structure gets dilapidated support needs to be given to the same to keep it stable. It is said that our democracy is founded on three pillars of Legislature, Judiciary and Executive however when we felt that three pillars are not sufficient to make the structure strong we provided support of the fourth pillar i.e. Press (Print & Electronic) It was expected out of this fourth estate to stay vigilant and question the wrong doings of the remaining three pillars. Now it seems that our weakening democracy is going to need another pillar to support itself, a fifth pillar now which is known as Social Networks.

Internet and Social Media has empowered people and we have seen the effects of that in recent public uprising in Gulf countries. The spread of Anna Movement (India Against Corruption campaign for Lokpal) couldn’t have been possible minus the role of the Social Media in spreading the word.

Presently, about 70 per cent of our population is of less than 35 years age and the political parties are viewing the youths as strong vote bank. In the past some suddenly all leaders have started the use of Tweet and the parties had been seen campaigning on Facebook.  The parties have started talking about giving free laptops and computer training.  But honestly speaking, the attitude towards youths has been the same, as it was towards the other category of vote banks.

Perhaps, the leaders have been thinking of attracting the young generation by associating with the modern technology and by looking little like modern.  But none of the party has a vision about the youths and this has raised few relevant questions:

Do youths mean only little number in the cities?

Do the poor youths from rural area come under this category?

Will they ensure the presence of teachers in every school?

Will it be possible to open technical education centers in the rural and small cities?

Will the youths be given due representation in the politics?

At present, the children of leaders of almost all parties are in the name of youths. It is not understood as to why all the political parties do not give due representation to youths from rural and urban areas for contesting elections and or some other important status in the party.

It is an admitted fact that democracy without media is like a vehicle without wheels and the social media, now said to be fifth pillar of democracy, is an important part of media itself.  The fifth estate of social media has arrived to keep constant vigil on all the remaining four estates.

In case, the political leaders are really worried about the youths, they will have to consider all these points in view while finalizing the election strategy for Lok Sabha elections 2014 especially with regard to representation of youths, who are being considered as the vote bank and people too have high expectations from them in the field of politics, to take strong and right decisions.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of City Air News.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013