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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media

Dear Pankaj Pachauri Sir,

Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s Indian Express column ‘While we were silent’ has created buzz throughout the day. You were right in saying that our country progressed while he was asleep. Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s column seems to have touched some raw nerve and it has indeed found many takers. Forget about takers, those takers are mostly on Twitter and Facebook. We need not take them seriously. But can you please explain to me as to how a person can remain asleep for nine years at a stretch?

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Okay, sir. Just don’t give me any explanation. You are in a very influential position. You know better. When you say Mr. So-and-so had been asleep for almost a decade, one must believe your words without an iota of doubt. Sir, Mr. PBM must have received a serious shock when you rolled out statistics along with graphs and tables.

One look at the statistics tweeted by is enough to convince anyone that employment has doubled. The corpus of PF for private sector employees has increased four fold. Agriculture wages have increased. Poverty has declined in the country. Telecom sector is booming. Rural tele density has crossed 40 from 1.5. As far as freedom is concerned, millions of Indians have used the RTI to keep an eye on public expenditure as a tool of transparency. Roads too are built.

The graphs are impressive. The data is mind blowing. The progress is enormous. India has never been in such safer hands before. Nobody must be in doubts now. Those who praised ‘While we were silent’ and jumped with joy have gone into hiding now as their joy has proved to be so short-lived.

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Sir, there are a few things that you could have done well to include in your tweets. Those omitted statistics would have made stunning graphs. Even those things our countrymen deserve to know. Please allow me to share them with you in case you had been asleep while they were happening. It is quite possible, isn’t it?

As far as poverty is concerned, it has indeed declined. How? Commonwealth Games wasted public fund only to the meagre tune of 101.02 crore. It is just a small bucket from a big ocean. Remember coalgate? Only 1,85,591lc. And then comes 2G spectrum. Again a paltry 309,845.5 but according to Mr. Kapil Sibbal ‘zero loss’.

After taking care of poverty, UPA regime moved heaven and earth to provide roof above people’s head and built The Adarsh Housing Society that captured the imagination of the whole country. It has contributed to banking sector also significantly by way of money laundering. Since India is a rich country and people have started resorting to air travel, the Railway was neglected. But UPA infused fresh lease of life into the Railways with the help of appointment scams.

Sir, another achievement that you seemed to have overlooked is Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal voluntarily resigned from the posts of Ministers on the same day to mentor young and upcoming leaders of India. Our investigative agencies have no work left to do. Therefore, UPA has asked them to bring Salman Khurshid and Sriprakash Jaiswal under their scanners. Subodh Kant Sahai and MS Gill were dropped from cabinet to give more work to rusting investigative agencies.

What else? A Raja, Kanimozhi and Suresh Kalmadi visited the Tihar jail to examine the conditions prevalent in India’s jails. They spent great deal of time behind bars to prepare detailed reports to table before the Parliament.

The achievement that takes the cake is 15th Lok Sabha is likely to go down as the most disrupted house in history.

Sir, please do include these achievements in your graphical tweets next time.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.

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We live in stranger times. Socializing on the social networking sites has sadly become all about poking fun at politicians, leaders, film-actors, cricketers, journalists and certain communities.

There’s a parallel universe called Twitter. The inhabitants of this universe are fondly known as tweeple or tweeps. What do these tweeps do? Most of the times they express their ideas on the current affairs. For example:-

  • Narendra Modi should be the next prime minister of India.
  • MMS is taking the country back to the stone age.
  • Team Anna is misguided and its intentions are not noble.
  • Satyameva Jayate is a money making exercise for the actor-turned-crusader Aamir Khan.
  • Shah Rukh Khan is a drug addict who has got an attitude problem.
  • Jr. Mallya is a rich brat with shaky morals who has no right to lecture how the future wives should behave.
  • Sachin Tendulkar should not become the Rajya Sabha MP under this corrupt government.

The list is endless. Hankering after the number of followers, Re-tweets and celebrity bashing are the main objectives. Everyday some or other famous personality becomes the butt of ridicule and victim of endless silly jokes lampooning him or her.

What does all this mean? What do these tweeps gain? Except a few new followers, Re-tweets and ego satisfaction there’s hardly anything else that they may gain.

The more intriguing aspect of this parallel universe is almost every famous person is a villain. It is as if we forget the fact that in the first place it is we the people who have made that person famous. Then why should we have any ill-will feelings towards that famous person aka celebrity?

Today Twitter verified Sagarika Ghose’s account and the entire twitterverse rose up in arms against her. Soon all kinds of jokes lampooning poor Sagarika began to do the rounds on twitter.

What happens when Twitter verifies your account? It is a sign of the fact that you’ve arrived on Twitter. The symbol that one’s Twitter account is verified is something akin to the MP’s car with a red beacon atop. It signifies that you are a VIP on Twitter, and nothing else.

Sagarika Ghose is one of the high profile journalists with quite a good number of followers on Twitter. If Twitter has deemed it fit to verify her account and bless it with that prestigious symbol of verified next to her name on her Twitter page, what’s the big deal?

What will happen when the favourite whipping boy of Twitter Kamaal R Khan’s account gets verified? Will the humour cross all the limits? How will tweeps deal with the not-so-politically-correct tweets emanating from the verified account of Kamaal R Khan?

One also shudders at the thought what will happen when Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister of India? How will the Modi brigade celebrate that occasion on Twitter? Maybe by blocking every anti-Modi tweeple?

There’s a clear cut divide along the caste and religion lines in the country. Some people object to the very term ‘secular’ which according to them has come to mean the appeasement of minorities. There are many people who  don’t like Muslims.

In this age of social media what is scarier is the fact that now people are spiting venom against Muslims openly. Nobody can see their faces since they’re tweeting from the safe cocoons of their houses and therefore they don’t mind expressing their hatred against Muslims without any reservations.

Is so much freedom of expression vis-a-vis Twitter or Facebook a bane or a boon? Another recent example that comes to mind is a tweet from someone whom I’ve come to hugely admire and respect on Twitter.

Mr. Kanchan Gupta is a well-known media personality and when he tweeted, “Mumbaikars: How tough is it for Muslims to find flats? True or part of fake victimhood narrative?” He was referring to an article published in The Hindu dated 03/06/2012. This tweet drew a sharp response from Mrs. Atiya Zaidi and soon there were heated arguments between the two idols whose tweets I immensely enjoy.

The Twitter is a perfect barometer to know which way the wind is blowing. It’s depressing to know that the Muslims are disliked so much and even more depressing is to know that nowadays people are expressing it on public forums. Why and how has the gulf between the two communities become so wide all of a sudden?

When the members of intelligentsia become so vocal about their dislike of a particular community, what hopes or expectations can one have from the common men? Twitter opens our eyes to a scary reality if not addressed properly on time, nobody can complain that there were no warning signals.

May the peace prevail forever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

This is the time when everybody wants to prop up his or her candidate for the post of the President of India. Although this is not the most powerful post in the Indian polity, every political party wants to install their man at the helm so that when the time comes, he can return the favour.

Many out-of-work politicians throw their hats in the ring. Before they fade into the oblivion, they want to try their luck at the shot of immortality that the post of the Prez tends to offer. Having said that there are many politicians who would like to have a young President this time around who is not necessarily from the political background. The J&K CM tweeted earlier in the day to convey this message.

Now if this were to really happen, who fits the bill? India is a young country, and; the young generation would love to have a young President if given a chance. The President should be someone who is always in the news for the bold decision he takes and thereby controversies that he generates. At any given point of time half a dozen OB vans belonging to various media houses ought to be stationed outside the official residence of the Prez awaiting breaking news or some juicy stories.

Who can call a spade a spade and cope up with the pulls and pressures that are such an integral part of the life after occupying the chair of the President? Well, there is only one brave heart who can set a new precedent by becoming the President of India. That person is none other than Mr. Lalit Modi.

Mr. Lalit Modi needs no introduction. The whole world knows him. The politicians cutting across the party lines swear by his popularity. He has forever changed the face of cricket by launching the IPL and introducing the concept of franchising into the much loved sport of this country. Who can forget the initial shock waves generated by the auction of big cricketers?

If he becomes the President of India, the first thing he will do is introduce the same concept of franchising into the politics as well. Unlike IPL, this political franchises will have state wise teams. This means the number of Indian states will equal the number of political teams. Each team will be known by the name of the state it represents and not by the name the respective franchise owners choose for their respective teams.Each team will comprise of twenty five politicians from the state the team comes. International politicians will not be allowed to be a part of any team.

Imagine the high profile politicians owned by the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis,  Khans, Adanis and Mittals of this country. Their job will be to legislate maximum laws favouring their masters. If any politicians fail to do so, his owner has every right to discard him or her before the next general elections that take place every five years.

The official residence of the President boasts of a palatial bungalow that never sees much partying or flurry of guests. But with Mr. Lalit Modi at the helm the bungalow will see as many parties as possible. After the grueling day at the Parliament he would love to relax amidst young and bubbly cheerleaders from across the country. All the franchise owners too will gather there and have a good time by socialising with one another over free flow of liquor with the liquor baron Mr. Vijay Mallya promising to provide unlimited supply of all his famous brands of whiskey and beer.

All his detractors will flee the country and live in exile when he becomes the  President. But Mr. Lalit Modi won’t indulge in any kind of political vendetta. On the other hand, he will pursue them to return to the country by rolling a red carpet upon their arrival. Mr. Modi is a kind soul who wants every human being on earth to prosper and enjoy. This is precisely why he gifted IPL to his countrymen by bringing together players, coaches and commentators from across the world.

Similarly he will bring together the politicians of all hues and cries by promising them mega bucks from their respective owners. This will foster a lot of healthy competition amongst the politicians as their prices and selection will depend purely on their performances, and not on any kind of muscle power. The party high command culture will make way for the board-room kind of culture as “shape-up-or-ship-out” will be the only motto that will come to determine the worth and usefulness of any politician worth his salt.

Finally the biggest advantage or disadvantage (depending upon the way you look at it) of Mr. Lalit Modi becoming the President of India will be that Narendra Modi will have to wait few more years to stake his claim to become the prime minister since two Modis at the helm will send out wrong signals and their common last names will create a lot of confusion amongst the visiting foreign dignitaries.

This means one Modi’s gain is another Modi’s loss. But all said and done Mr. Lalit Modi is the one man who can bring much needed glamour to the post of the President of India which it lacks as of now.

 

 

“The Dirty Picture” – as the title suggests – is not dirty at all. On the other hand, it depicts the harsh realities and certain subtle take home messages on how to strike it big by using the beautiful body if you happen to be a girl from nowhere with big dreams.

The central character played by talented Vidya Balan won the prestigious National Award for her convincing portrayal of a girl who uses her body to get on to the top of male-dominated film industry.

The flick did extremely well at the box office. But The Dirty Picture was slowly fading from the memory when the I&B Ministry decided to throw its weight to make it an even bigger bioepic than it has been being touted by its maker.

The biggest irony of the day is that the government has decided to play the moral police by stalling the telecast of The Dirty Picture during the day time. The Sony channel can telecast this flick when the young children have gone to bed.

The scantily dressed cheerleaders can dance during day time at the cricket stadium. But the children are likely to remain unaffected since their concentration is going to be only on their favourite cricketers. They hardly take their eyes off the middle out there when the game is in progress.

But when it comes to The Dirty Picture, Vidya Balan’s sexy body will induce all sorts of devilish thoughts into the young children’s minds. Therefore it is only apt that the telecast takes place only after the kids are tucked away in the beds and snoring away to glory.

This is a very nice decision on the part of I&B Ministry. The Sony Channel and the makers of The Dirty Picture are peeved at the government’s last minute intervention. But they should realise that this censorship has resulted in a truckload of publicity for their flick. Now more number of people want to watch it and find out for themselves whether what the government did is right or wrong.

It is a win-win scenario for The Dirty Picture, its makers and the Sony channel in the sense that this film is back in the news. In a battle of oneupmanship, the viewers have got plenty to whine about. They will rave and rant about the non-telecast of this steamy hot flick until something else catches their fancy in this age of social media where the attention span is as short as hundred and forty characters.

Nobody will be surprised when few minutes from now the life is back to normal and Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians has become the talk of the town instead of some second rate The Dirty Picture. So much for the government’s intervention.

Nowadays social media is a big hit. It is the in thing. All the action is happening on twitter and facebook. Most of the times Breaking  News gets broken on twitter. Before the arrival of twitter nobody knew that 140 characters would one day come to rule our existence and these 140 characters would become the power house of information on anything under the sun. Everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon called twitter. You name the celebrity, he or she is on twitter. You name the media house, it is on twitter.

Having highlighted the easy part that everybody is on twitter, let me move on to the difficult part. Once you are on twitter, what next? Not everybody can succeed on twitter. It is the most cruel place on the planet if you are a NOBODY. But it is the sweetest place if you are a SOMEBODY. The moment a celebrity signs up on twitter, not only it becomes the headlines of the next day’s dailies but also fellow celebs start giving warm welcome by shouting out the newbie and urging their followers to show some love (read follow this new celebrity as well).

Needless to say within no time the message goes viral and that celebrity has got more followers than the entire population of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh put together faster than you can say twitter. The moral of the story is followers flock to the celebrities like the honeybees flock to the honey. They shower so much of love and bombard them with so many welcome tweets that the celebrity gets overwhelmed with joy and cannot thank enough.The same story gets repeated every time a new celebrity signs up on twitter.

There are no prizes for guessing what goes on in this virtual space. Film actors promote their upcoming flicks. Out of work film actors flirt with danger and try to create controversies to gain some free publicity. Journalists inform. Authors promote their latest books. Politicians give a detailed account of itinerary. Business tycoons tweet about their new ventures.

Amidst all the who’s who of the nation what does the common man do without any followers? Well, he has no business to be on twitter in the first place. But then who will follow these film actors, politicians, journalists and business tycoons? The common man is a mute spectator. He has no say. If he asks tough questions, he is a troll. Well, this is not the end of this story. There is one very interesting breed of quasi-celebrities on twitter. These people spice up your timeline by poking fun at the celebrities, government, government policies or politicians. In popularity they are second to film stars. Even some film stars follow such quasi-celebrities keenly.

So is twitter a ban or a boon? It is a fantastic medium to spread important messages in case of emergencies, natural calamities and during terror strikes. Again when some misinformation is doing the rounds about any larger-than-life figure, it is the fantastic tool to clear the air by tweeting his/her side of the story.But sometimes people misuse this platform by creating false accounts impersonating well-known personalities and spite venom. This doesn’t go on forever as the fake get exposed sooner than later and the accounts get suspended.

Sometimes these big people try to massage their bigger egos on twitter and it is at this time when a common man can have a laugh at their expense. For example, Vijay Mallya tweeted to appreciate his son’s speech at the ongoing IT Conclave. This is hilarious coming as it does from a man who doesn’t let go of any opportunity to lash out at media for highlighting the woes of his beleaguered KFA. I wonder why nobody has started lampooning his tweets as yet.

Sometimes the passing away of some public figure creates an orgy of tributes for the deceased on twitter. The celebrities feel compelled to tweet about it and the mask slips off in the process. This is a wrong precedent as some feelings of grief are more genuine and spontaneous if expressed in private. This type of show of loss is a put on act carried out for the benefits of followers and nobody is a winner in the bargain.

Last but not the least, when a film does well or a cricketer scores a century, there is a competition amongst celebrities to be the first to congratulate the achiever on twitter. This leads to farcical situations as the congratulatory message lacks conviction and sounds half-baked. But everything is momentary on twitter including the attention span of the followers. What is a trending topic today will be a long forgotten topic the next day. This is what makes twitter so addictive for when you are addicted to something, you tend to ignore all the side effects at your own peril.

Enjoy twitter and be happy. It’s a great entertainment with all its doors open roundthe clock. However, sometimes right to admission solely rests with twitter.

 

 


@GheTa

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Wow....!!! This Much Love.....!!!!

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