The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


Anna Hazare, the erstwhile Team Anna, the new Team Anna and the members of Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Aam Aadmi Party’, all have been in the news throughout the year for different reasons. The common thread among them has been they have been consistently talking about ‘change’ and the ‘politics of change’. Yet, they don’t stir the imagination of the youth anymore. The social media is almost not talking about them (except the routine stuff and the existing support base).

Anna Hazare was the major factor that led the youth to trust and accept the call. But once it was clear that the movement was hijacked by the vested interests, they simply moved away from it.

The vigourous activity on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media platforms that was there during the April 2011 and September 2011 fasts flattened later on.

Many said social media as a support medium for protests failed in India and the high trends during the Anna Hazare fasts were just impulsive reactions.

But that was not to be an obituary as some analysts were writing about.

The huge support to the Delhi gangrape protests is a living testimony to it. While there was an organized group working on to mobilize the youth base through proactive social media use, the unorganized Delhi gangrape protests were organized by the youth voicing the need to react and speak up against the government’s lackadaisical attitude on the Delhi gangrape probe and related social concerns about women security and independence.

Elements of spontaneity were there in both the movements. But being a ‘reactive and unorganized’ movement with a leaderless leadership tells us the transition is happening in a positive direction.

The reactive civil movements with mass participations are the right kind of pressure tools for a deviated government in a democracy to act proactively.

The youth mobilization in the Delhi gangrape case has been largely based on use of social media to connect the dots to form the line of protests. The movement has generated support across the urban centres of the country, the places with possible dots having social media users, discerning enough to take a call. The tools were used not only to connect and promote but also to refute. The administration’s version in the controversial death of the Delhi Police constable who was injured when the protests went violent, aimed at the sensationalizing the issue and suppress the protests by blaming the protesters, was strongly questioned on social media and was taken up later by the mainstream media to raise pointers of relevant debate.  

A Hindustan Times report wrote: Protest pages on Facebook and Twitter hashtags like #DelhiProtests, #DelhiGangRape and #StopThisShame acted like pivotal platforms to help activists conveniently arouse sentiments, announce protests and enlist demonstrators.

And in contrast, like then in 2011, we cannot say that traditional media played and equally participating role now. The day after the day when the perpetrators did it was 2nd phase of the Gujarat assembly election. Most of the media vehicles chose to give the news related to the crime a passing treatment. The apathy was even more on the show on December 20, the day of counting of votes. Meanwhile, the youth had started reacting on the social media just after the crime incident. The government apathy and media’s differential treatment only helped the dots connect fast and bond more strongly.

By the time, when the mainstream media took the issue ‘prominently’, the youth was already there in the streets, raging, voicing and protesting. The mainstream media only supplemented, and not ‘assisted’.

And the way the protests went peacefully except one or two aberrations, it tells us the positive signs. The protests were largely dominated by a mob-free mentality. No one was instructing them but they felt let-down by the violence (by few anti-social elements among the protesters), worked to rectify it and kept the movement apolitical.

The protests were not anti-government; they were anti-system.

When a protest movement takes this orientation, it is a positive sign for democracy and warning to the policymakers that they are on the wrong track.

And it was this increasingly mature nature of the protest that made the government to come to the talking terms.

After the huge, huge mobilization, the sudden steep fall for the anti-corruption movement of 2011 and the ‘reactive, spontaneous, leaderless and growing’ support to the Delhi gangrape protests just after a year tell us how wrong it was to write off the potential of social media and the collective conscious of the youth. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -