Sunday, September 10, 2006

Is blogging any use for politics?

A young lady, Veena of, started a discussion (not a presentation, despite the powerpoint) on political blogging. It soon looked took on aspects of the political debates we have seen on TV.

Here are the questions and my responses to them:

1. Would a politician blog? How many would be willing to give you something in writing when they may have to stand by it?

Politicians make statements all the time. They get widely reported in print and get captured in video. That never frightened them off!

2. There has to be a criteria for selection of politicians. Many are not even literate? And when their constituents are illiterate people, why would somebody use a medium like blogging?

When the majority of Indians are illiterate, why do have largely politics discussed in our mainstream newspapers?  And that too in English?

3. Can bloggers not focus the attention of politicians on issues by blogging about them?

Yes, I am sure. Especially if they pick on current hot topics. Nuclear deal with the US. Reservations. Political interference in criminal investigations. The proposed amendments to RTI.

4. Political blogging and politician blogging are different.

That's a valid point. We must not confuse the two.

5. It would get reduced to PR agency handling the blog!

Probably. But do we care when a politician's office answers your letter, if it's under his signature? Do company CEO's answer all their letters? Atul Chitnis doesn't allow comments and may not respond to mails he gets. Big politicians would probably have bigger problems than his for similar reasons?

6. Free bags of rice get votes whereas technology could lead to a negative, "out of touch with the constituent image" for a politician.

Let's not forget that the rice could be more important to someone than rhetoric.

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Nanyaar? said...

Rice is Important, and the answers they seem to have accumulated in me a desire to write on Indian Politics., I guess I can still do it right from here.



Sunil Bajpai said...

Can you blog about something that's important to you from a far?

Of course, you can. It's all about the new boundaryless world in any case.