There was a News item today that informed that in Delhi University campus during the last December’s Delhi Assembly Elections (2014) you were considered a ‘loser’ if you did not vote! To flaunt the inked left Index finger became a style statement, and also portrayed you as a politically conscious and socially aware guy or gal.
The issues discussed in those elections – corruption and women’s security – were the topics of heated discussions in college canteens and it was considered stylish to out pour one’s outrage in FB posts! One’s social ranking would have hit a real time low had one not gone and voted for the ’cause’.
This was largely caused by the vast media coverage of the Anna Hazare movement which was later on hijacked by the smart guy Kejriwal to fulfil his political ambitions leaving behind a sulking old man with a ‘shared’ topi!
Considering all that hoopla and constant focus on Anna, Kejriwal and later on Aam Aadmi Party, it is not surprising that the events surrounding the main protagonists of the entire drama became the talk of the town, and the presence of many young actors in the drama, and clever manipulation of media, brought youngsters into the centre stage — leaving oldies like Baba Ramdevs, Advanis, Sushmas and Jaitleys on the sidelines helplessly watching issues first raised by them being hijacked before their very eyes!
Now Lok Sabha elections are just round the corner, but that heat is missing from the campus and the talks are again centering around fashion, films and famous! This is surprising, since these elections are far more important than Assembly elections and affect the future of the entire country!
What Goes Into Making Of ‘An Issue’?
It is interesting to analyse the dynamics through which people get involved in certain issues, feel compelled ‘to be involved’, ‘to have an opinion’ and to take action, and ultimately become instruments of social change.
If we just go through the main features of the events described above we observe the following features which make an issue into ‘An Issue’.
- The issue is widely discussed in society and is considered to be the ‘in’ thing. There is persistent focus on it in all TV channels and is vigorously discussed in News, analysis and discussions. In almost all the mainstream Newspapers Editorials are written discussing various aspects of the topic.
- The topic becomes trending on Social Media – Fecabook, Twitter and WhatsApp are abuzz with the buzz and people are never tired of airing and exchanging their views.
- No one can afford to appear ignorant on the issue – a copy-paste will do if you do not have your own view on it! Everyone feels compelled to show one’s involvement.
- As a corollary we observe that young crowd begets young crowd. In the Anna movement the presence of so many young actors – media personalities, politicians, Professors and students helped bring about more young crowd.
- To motivate the middle class it is important to promise a mini-revolution that will the change entire system. However, the revolution should call for not more than symbolic actions like candle light dinners, Jantar Mantar ‘morchas’, mini interviews on Television, etc. – you get the flow, right? Job safety is important man!
All of these ingredients mixed together in reasonable proportions will create a snowball effect. We observed all of this in the Anna movement which was centered mostly in and around Jantar Mantar which does not have the capacity to accommodate a crowd of more than 3000. And half of the crowd consisted of TV crew!
Will You Do It Again?
Now, all that heat and dust is gone: movements and topis stolen, some are eating the fruits of labor while others are still trying to decipher what exactly it was that transpired!
Well, let bygones with bygones – I am neither with simple Gurus nor with smart chelas – my whole worry is — suppose a situation comes, when issues are even more important, when consequences are even more grave which affect the fate of the country; but all this happens without the fanfare and noise and din of the crowds and TV and social media and candle light marches, will the people feel involved, will they bother to get involved, will they feel compelled to air their views?
The answer – Yes or No – is extremely important — it has a bearing on the fate of India!
Please leave your comments below, I will love to know your views…