Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Friday, October 21, 2005

IIPM-gate and a quiet revolution

A bigger picture emerges from the IIPM-gate affair. My reading may be overtly optimistic, but I want to get it off my chest.

IIPM-gate - and I use that cliched suffix carefully - is an important landmark in Indian democracy. The voluntary efforts of unaffected individuals to better the lives of their fellow citizens is creditable. Even if one student drops IIPM from his/her list of prospective colleges, it will have bettered his/her life.

The spoken word has been quite powerful in India. But never has the power of the written word been utilised more effectively, so rapidly, and with such little effort.

This movement symbolizes a change in perspective with regard to how complete strangers bound by similar moral antennae can collude without a central coordinating authority to affect change. It also continues to bring to attention two glaring facts, viz; news related to urban areas get more prominence primarily due to the ease of access. Ergo, change will occur principally in those areas. Two, where change is not directed centrally, people will adapt.

I had exchanged a mail with Amit Varma after the Mumbai flood and labeled it 'Apres Deluge, Vox Populi'. I'm 38 years old, arguably one of the oldest-farts in the Indian blogosphere. One of the more pleasing aspects of the evolution of Indian blogdom has been the complete, unhindered, optimistic can-do attitude of younger members. For those of us who were raised in the 1970s on a baggage of apathy caused by central planning, nothing could be more wonderful to us than this ability to witness what I can only term a revolution.

Quite surprisingly, Indians have been leading the charge in some fields. Yes, we may not have had a Dan Rather like scandal, but we've had our victories in voluntary efforts, especially in post-disaster scenarios.

From people running marathons to raise funds in order to educate underprivileged children in India, to working actively during the Tsunami, or covering their neighbourhood during the floods, Indians have, without much fuss, without many slogans, without taking to the streets, succeeded in creating a quiet revolution.


Blogger Abi said...

Nice one, Quizman! This is probably the first such case for Indian bloggers. It will take a lot more such cases before people start to take us seriously.

We must also realize that there are some things that are unique to this case. IIPM left a lot of internet trails that could be explored by what Michael Higgins calls Google journalism. How would you explore and expose the crimes and misdemeanours of a political party? Except for the archives of the election commission that has details of individual candidates, I am sure you won't find any internet trails. Now, exploring off-line (real? hard-copy?) trails will require journalism on the ground, and that will depend on the will of the journalists and of the organizations that back them.

Having said that, I see a bright side: many MSM journalists are also bloggers.

So, in sum: I certainly agree with you that this is a landmark in the history of Indian blogs. And, going forward, I firmly believe history is on the bloggers' side.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Quizman said...

Thanks for your comment, Abi. I was waiting for the reaction in MSM and it looks very positive. Amazing, huh?

4:37 PM  
Blogger r)HaN said...

Think I came in late on to this IIPM-thingy..and im real curious abt there any site or blog which could throw some more light on this matter?


3:06 AM  
Blogger Dilip D'Souza said...

Just reacting to this: I'm 38 years old, arguably one of the oldest-farts in the Indian blogosphere.

Nope. I'm an older fart.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Quizman said...


6:25 PM  

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