The ideological struggle has never been as intense as it is now. The educated people are using each and every medium to further their ideological leanings. They are writing articles in newspapers, putting forth their views in television programmes in a very assertive and forceful manner, blogging their ideas and opinions, sharing a lot on the social media and are even going to the extent of trolling their ideological adversaries.
What is it that enabled the people to freely express their ideas and feelings? It is undoubtedly the advent of the internet and the resultant social media. Gone are the days when people were dependent on the newspapers for the latest newsfeed. A few decades ago the ability to express was a privilege of a select few. Well-known journalists like Kuldeep Nair, Arun Shourie and M.J. Akbar would write articles in newspapers and we would read them with awe and readily agree with their ideas because they were printed and in those days printed word carried a considerable clout making us remain under the mistaken notion that printed word can’t be wrong.
The advent of television brought about revolutionary changes in the way news and views are presented. However, the media, especially the Indian media, took advantage of its primacy and started abusing their privileges. They started concealing more things than they revealed. The paid news has become a part and parcel of their business and they transformed themselves into news traders and thus earned themselves the sobriquet of ‘Presstitutes’.
Then came the social media, and it managed to break the vicious circle of concealments, selective reporting, bias, news trading and ideological control. Now the whole of the Main Stream Media stands exposed and its very credibility has touched the rock bottom. Now the educated people are no longer ready to attribute unnecessary sanctity to printed word and are cross checking the authenticity of it before putting their trust in it. The google search engine, which brought a virtual treasure house of knowledge within the reach of even the ordinary people, has effectively broken the monopoly of a few people who monopolized knowledge.
The MSM has lost its credibility in such a way that most of the important news and events are broken on social media. Leaders are no longer ready to trust the MSM and they are not even ready to give interviews to them. Rajdeep Sardesai, after his iconic charge at one of the spectators, earned the sobriquet ‘The Madison Square Thug’ and has acquired the status of being the epitome of Indian journalism. His fellow news traders, Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi of Neira Radio tapes fame have shamed the entire profession of journalism, in spite of the fact that they still shamelessly appear on the television screens and are very busy with their usual business of spreading lies.
And in this social media revolution twitter and facebook played a lead role. Twitter, the microblogging site, has taken the centre stage with its hashtags and trends and started reflecting the people’s ideas, opinions, attitudes and aspirations. On twitter, no idea goes unchallenged and no view goes without being subjected to the critical scrutiny. So in an essence, the emergence of social media has become a bugbear to the media crooks who, for many decades, had spread their lies unhinderedly to amass untold wealth.