Slowly, yet steadily, India is realising that the digital mode of communication is the most effective mode. Do you want a ready example? Have a look at Home Minister Amit Shah’s Bihar and Bengal Jansamvad rallies that pushed India to an unique mode of digital communication, hundreds of thousands participated. So what was the hidden lesson for Indians? That a huge programme can easily be organised with little resources and so little time. Now think of it, large rallies mean large logistics. If you can cut this out, you not only save cash but also time. “That, in short, is the magic of going digital,” says corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar.
Now it is quite natural for the masses to join such big shows, all one needs to do is to get the digital system in place. Maharashtra has shown during their annual Ganesha Chaturthi festival, Bengal will do the same during Durga Puja and there are chances many more mass celebrations would soon get digital, especially around the time when Covid-19 pandemic dangling on our head like the proverbial sword of Damocles.
It is clear that the success of these digital innovations in public communication has opened doors for its multiple use in the days and times to come in India, and also across the world. And this is happening because of the Indian government’s big buck push of digital technology in the hinterland, India’s rural areas. Bharat is getting connected with India and there can never be any doubt it will aid in strengthening public participation in democratic India.
Pushed by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, India has entered a technology-driven world, so it is all but natural that there will be sweeping changes in the country’s political discourse, and increasingly communication between political parties from across India and people will become simpler.There could even be a time, a phase when posters, long considered a hallmark of communication, pamphlets and banners, will eventually cease to exist. And there will be greater acceptance of campaigning through digital means. Pushed by a forward thinking PM, India is embarking on a new phase of political public communication.
To turn public participation, long considered bedrock of a successful and vibrant democracy, a nation needs to be digitally able. Only the digital medium has the strength and energy to push debates, discussions and exchange of ideas on a different scale altogether and, in turn, strengthen the foundations of democratic systems. Worldwide, governments are shifting to newer modes of public communication even as their democracies keep evolving.In the 15th century, the printing press emerged and pushed science and knowledge across the world, playing a major role in the Renaissance that swept through Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Deepak Talwar added, “I would also like to point out here that digital mediums should go hand in hand with the old modes of communication like print, radio and television. They should not be turned redundant. Programmes such as Mann Ki Baat and exit polls are important, many follow it. “Facebook posts and tweets are often considered the best source of information for the standard, mainstream communication channels. The pandemic has changed ways of public communication and mass contact. Now that social distancing norms are mandatory, there is growing need for public communication. Digital media can be the biggest trail blazer.