Monday, June 18, 2012

Internet Hindus - entire interview (more or less)

The chat between me and Jason *reference the article in Global Post)



Jits Gajaria, Jason Overdorf



Jits Gajaria: And after Ghose used that term, more and more youth
started asserting themselves as IH or right wing.

Jits Gajaria: I have always maintained that disagreements have full

space in democracy but abuse does not. I have called up abusive

tweeple more than a few times for crossing the line. I feel abuse

weakens your argument and chance to win a debate

Jason Overdorf: In what ways do you think the pro-Congress bias

manifests? We certainly see a lot of articles slamming Manmohan Singh

for kowtowing to the coalition, and plenty of anti-dynasty pieces and

articles about Rahul's incompetence....

Jits Gajaria: Well.. To give a simple example, the silence of national

media on death of a terror accussed in a jail in Maharashtra. Had it

been a BJP ruled state, national media would have been all over it

unlike the current near silence. If you observe carefully, anti-BJP

news are amplified and positive stories from BJP states either

downplayed or grudingly accepted

Jason Overdorf: Or is the national media just automatically tilted a

bit toward the ruling party? Things seemed pretty cosy in the days of

"India Shining," the Gujarat riots notwithstanding.

Jits Gajaria: If you compare the 2 periods, media has a lot more

traction and viewership today. Also the kind of criticism the govt

should take for the current state in India, is not coming from media.

A simple Q - even a kid knows this govt can't do anything without

Sonia Gandhis permission. Why is then media shying from questioning

her? Sonia Gandhi's NAC is largely responsible for the mismanagement

of economy, how many media houses have bothered to call that out?

Jits Gajaria: Maybe more than pro-Cong, Media is pro-Gandhi family

Jason Overdorf: What have been the biggest successes of the Hindu

right (or whatever) in social media? (i.e. Any big wins?)

Jits Gajaria: They have been able to offset and balance out a lot of

false stories. For eg - when Business Standard published an op-ed on

Guj showing Guj growth story a myth followed by rediff and BBC, the

counter in form of data and facts given by a twitter used Vijay

(centerofright) was so spot on, all had to withdraw their stories

because their data was wrong ( or intentionally fudged). Many such

cases of levelling the information fields

Jits Gajaria: And even traditional media houses will have to accept

that information field is getting levelled or they risk being called

out for their unintentional or unintentional bluffs

Jason Overdorf: Do you agree that the Hindu right / Hindu nationalists

are more organized and focused in their use of social media than the

left / secularists?

Jits Gajaria: Hindu right\Hindu nationalists are a part of the

society. They generally represent the country's middle class... And it

is this class which is pre-dominant on the net given its upwardly

mobile status since NDA rule. Hence you will always see them more on

social media. Also they seem more organised because of a common sense

of hurt and disappointment vis-a-vis traditional media

Jits Gajaria: Let's not forget most of the people in this section a

Jason Overdorf: Fair enough.

Jits Gajaria: Are extremely nationalists in their own way

Jason Overdorf: One does seem to find that the right is more

passionate than the left about politics these days in the States as

well. Maybe that's true here, too. (Apart from in Kerala & WB ;-)

Jits Gajaria: Oh yes.. Maybe because there is hardly any Left left in

India.. Many seem to have moved towards centre and are enjoying fruits

of govt eg NAC

Jason Overdorf: One of the common threads in political discussions is

that the middle class is too small to make a difference. Are they

underestimating your potential?

Jits Gajaria: I think they are. There are 80 parliament seats in core

Urban areas and further 40 in semi urban. Also middle class is found

in rural areas too now.. Roughly I wud say middle class can impact

around 180 parliament seats if it comes out to vote

Jason Overdorf: Here's one more for you, then we can wrap it up...

What's your view of the 'battle for the youth?' Are the 'Internet

Hindus' a bigger force than Rahul Gandhi's recruitment drive? Are

your tweeters actually joining the BJP/RSS to get out there and drum

up votes? And can Hindu nationalism compete with regionalism / caste

politics in today's India?

Jits Gajaria: My theory is whenever economy is in doldrums, middle

class votes big.. Add to that the anti-corruption drives and it gives

you an angry middle class and 180 LS seats where they can swing votes

Jits Gajaria: To the last Q. Yes I think this is a much larger

platform to get youth into politics. Won't compare with Rahul's drive

since it has been found how numbers were highly fudged in TN n other

places. So don't know the result of Rahul model. But coming to social

media, I see more and more youth ready to make a switch from online to

offline too. On an average I get 3-4 requests a week for same

Jits Gajaria: Nationalism is the only thing that can take on regional

and casteist politics. Its a glue which binds the ppl and not divide



i wasnt able to save the chat before this since my Blackberry died for a few seconds but here I will just summarise what I said

On Internet Hindus - i feel the term is very derogatory and by using this term people are showing their bigotory and lack of intellect. Sagarika and others stand guilty of bigotory and racism by coining and using this terme

on whether RSS or BJP runs a cell for organised social media and if i have been ever aske to do it - no, the right wing on social media is an unorganised loosely knit group of people across globes who care for India. no organisation or party has so far tried to make special cells for it.

i rest my case