Tuesday, February 9, 2010

India is on Twitter?

We are living in a chaotic period in the modern India. Telangana, Naxals, Inflation, Kashmir, Terrorism, Liberalization … buzzwords that are heard everyday on TV, in the papers, on the internet and at bus stops in our country. Last year particularly was the coming of age of Twitter in our country. We saw a whole gamut of famous people get onto to Twitter and started using it mostly to promote their own personal agendas.

Shashi Tharoor, by far the most followed and eloquent amongst the newest twitterers from India keeps hitting media headlines for a casual remark he makes to his friend or commenting about aspects of foreign policy. The media which erstwhile played the role in bringing the message from the establishment, film starts and other avenues was finding it hard to cope with the fact that all these people now were directly talking to their target audience. Given this new channel established the media then had to report what was going on in Twitter which most often was a tad stale for the one’s that follow all these celebs on Twitter in the first place.

You have prominent personalities from the electronic media like Rajdeep Sardesai, Vikram Chandra, Sagarika Ghosh, Prabhu Chawla, Barkha Dutt …. on Twitter. You have reporters from these channels on Twitter. You have Vir Sanghvi, N Ram, Pritish Nandy and a whole gamut of professionals from the print media on Twitter. The film industry is there on twitter. All these folks promote their own articles, shows, movies on the medium. The folks from the media sometimes encourage debate, my favorite is Vir Sanghvi who never seems to have a problem calling a spade what it is. Go on, tweet to your hearts content and if you get a reply from one of these celebs do make a big deal about it.

Last week I was standing in a long line at a railway booking counter. The counters open at 8 AM and if you are one of those hapless one’s hoping to get a Tatkal ticket on a weekend train you better get to the booking counter by 8:15 AM or you don’t stand a chance in hell to get a confirmed reservation. Being the 17th person in the line I was slightly worried. As the crowd moved with only 10 more left an officer in Army uniform turned around:

Officer: Tatkal ticket?

Me: Yes sir, Saturday’s train, just 17 tickets remaining.

Officer: Aagay jao, mera tho utna jaldi nahi hai. (Go ahead, mine isn’t as urgent)

Me: Bahut shukriya sirji. (Thank you sir)

Don’t we need more people like this officer to make this world a better place?

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