I was reading “The IT Act of India needs to make provision for constituency websites” which talks about the lack of information of the 250,000 electoral constituencies India has (parliamentary/federal/centre, assembly/state and panchayat/local).
According to India’s Right to Information (RTI) voters should have access to constituency related information. Lately many prominent RTI activists have been murdered in India,
- RTI activist found dead in Nanded
- BJP MP involved in RTI activist murder
- RTI activist killed in front of Gujarat High Court
- Social activist murdered in Pune
Many were RTI activists were killed in 2010 and attacked in 2011. Anyway let us get back to the actual topic! There are hardly any note worthy websites of Indian politicians. Few have joined the Twitter and Facebook bandwagon.
- Somebody like Shashi Tharoor tweeted too often.
- Gujarat CM, future PM candidate Narendra Modi tweets are very “professional”, people would like to see the human side of him in his tweets .
- J&K CM Omar Abdullah combines work and play very well, calls spade a spade way too often. Tweets just the right amount every day. Omar Abdullah had to shut his blog in 2008, unfortunately for the readers.
For a country of India’s size a handful examples of online presence is hardly commendable. Our politicians are too far away from the voters, you can never reach them.
Recently PM met the press (only print though). There was a lot of noise around it. Hindustan Times’s Chairperson Shobhana Bhartia rightly mentioned on a TV program – our PM is not even part of any social network, he needs to change with the times.
We need to see the lighter, human side of people in power. It helps the politicians and the citizens. Indians were thrilled to see how the Obamas mingled with the school kids. We can never imagine our politicians doing that with us. They like to carry a grim, grrr face in public. #fail
Sites need to be bilingual or trilingual, not just in English
- RTI is in English only. #fail
- Karnataka CM BSY’s site has some mix of English and Kannada. A good start but if you closely watch in his media watch section they have excerpts from print media only. For them internet media is non-existent.
- Recently Kerala Chief Minister’s office went online. Was disappointed to see Malayalam version missing.
Being realistic, let our politicians first get their English versions of their site up and running. We will worry about the language versions (the actual vote bank for them) in Phase 2.