Samachara Bharati organized the third edition of Social Media Sangamam on 28thMarch 2021 at PNM School, Kukatpally in Hyderabad. The conclave comes after a long Covid break and focused more on SM content producers and developers, who are running portals, websites and channels, as well as youtubers. This year’s Social Media Sangamam witnessed many stalwarts from various sections of Social media share their experiences which would go a long way in strengthening the Dharmic and Indic narrative on the Social media platforms.
The keynote speaker from Bharat Today Channel, Sri Vasudevan stated that individuals who have long-term goals will sustain and succeed. He firmly underlined the thought that Social Media platforms must work for the betterment of the society at large, instead of expecting guidance and regulations from the government. He stated that with the advent of Social media platforms, a window of opportunity has been provided to express one’s views freely without any fear or favor. As immense political bias is seen in the mainstream media, Social Media is rapidly developing greater credibility with their quality content and innovation. However, it is a concern that several SM persons who are questioning the authorities on govt’s arbitrary and intolerant ways are being unlawfully booked by state govts and are arrested, this trend is disturbing. SM also needs to innovate and reform as they grow in the future.
In the first panel discussion on History and Culture, Sri N. Rajasekhar from Mega Minds, Sri Surender from Ritam App and Vishwa Samvad Kendra (VSK), and Sri Pradeep participated. The guests shared their insights about how historical facts, figures and incidents were suppressed since long, and highlighted the Social Media Platforms’ contribution in bringing them out to a larger audience. They also guided the young content writers on how to present facts and figures from the history in a simple, straight-forward and confident manner. Sri Nannapaneni Rajasekhar of Megaminds, Author of Nippuravvalu, Jwalamanulu, stated that the main theme of Megaminds is to develop content on history, freedom fighters, on historical, cultural and social icons, and national security. The attempt resulted in the portal Megamindsindia.in; which is in the forefront of spreading positive stories. He gave the example of Hemu Kalani of Sind, Chittagong revolt etc which were appreciated and well-received by the readers.
Sri Surender of Samachara Bharati, VSK Telangana and Ritam app presented a broad view on content development in Samachara Bharati portals. Ritam app is developed to give reliable credible news for an ordinary reader as Media credibility is questionable in today’s vitiated atmosphere. Ritam news is presented in 13 languages and is segmented as political, general, science and technology etc, Telugu content is at ritamtelugu. Samachara Bharati also manages the Vishwa Samvad Kendra -VSK Portal. The objective is to raise awareness on history and culture, develop relevant content and disseminate to the readers in multiple formats including News website, A-V medium on youtube, and on SM platforms like twitter and FB. VSK also focuses on Historical past and contemporary news, personalities, places, festivals, programs and events, as well as generate well-researched qualitative content which is able to feed the news agencies. VSK was able to give readable information capsules on several important topics like CAA, Nagasadhus, Ayodhya Sriramajanmabhumi issue and so on. VSK team has researchers, academicians, journalists, SM bloggers, and A-V content producers; the content is produced in three languages – Telugu, English and Hindi. It is important to form networking groups and reach out to more and more youngsters, in schools and colleges. In SM appropriate titling and tagging also acquire importance. There are others too who are contributing in the Telugu SM space like Nandi Srinivas garu of Telugudalam website.
In the second session on Contemporary Affairs and National Security issues, the panel had innovators and pioneers like Sri Ashish Naredi of `Truthist’, Sri Saikrishna of `Nationalist Hub’, and the young Sri Vinod of `String Reveals’. In a most informative discussion, Sri Ashish ji narrated his experiences of focusing on contemporary national issues, by working in the niche are of `creative arts and expression’. Truthist has done this by creating poetry, rap songs, slogans and pungent a-v material in hindi and English, to not only counter offensive propaganda against the country, but also in putting out affirmative content which supports positive narrative building. He explained that even Vandemataram was a powerful slogan used during Freedom movement, just as the crowds shouting `Modi’ is enough for the vehemence against `Jaishriram’ greeting and slogan today. He said he felt the need to counter the anti-CAA protests which proclaimed `kagaz nahi dikhayenge’ which was a statement of rebellion against the state, he came up with a disarming rap song. Similarly he used `hamare baap ka hai hindustan’ a-v verse to counter `kisi ke baap ka nahi hindustan’ insidious campaign; he also presented his effective `Thooker’ a-v which was in support of medical covid warriors who were being harassed and spitted upon by Tablighi jamaat groups during Covid lockdown in 2020.
Sri Saikrishna of `Nationalist Hub’ Youtube channel spoke about the initial challenges he faced after working for a decade plus in mainstream Telugu channels. He worked hard on doing original research and presented a large amount of unknown content to the Telugu audience which the mainstream media never reported. He also had an eye on the revenues as the work needs to sustain. He said though SM is growing phenomenally, and mainstream channels viewership is getting reduced because of their political biases, it is still worthwhile to note that more than 55% viewership is for pleasure/ entertainment, 20% lookout for Empowerment info, 14% search for purposeful content and 11% look for people related info. He also said that content developers should always be learners and acknowledged the support that he received from his mentors. He also said SM is vast, yet individuals or a group or an organization, who are running a content portal, should be very clear about it’s purpose, and there are good chances of achieving focus and sustainability with that clarity.
Sri Vinod of `String Reveals’ who brilliantly exposed the international nexus of George Soros supported organizations, media houses and the overseas Khalistani propagandists which also provoked the `farmers lobbies protests’ in delhi for months, spoke about his investigative journalism and stated that Left ecosystem has huge exhaustive funding, resources and influential persons to support their anarchist agenda. He highlighted how investigative journalism on Social Media busted many myths and fake narratives, especially the Republic Day violence, and helped save the nation’s reputation and prestige. He said the nationalists in SM space should work very hard to contribute to affirmative agenda. He said abuse and threats need to be ignored, and we need to focus on building credible knowledgeable content.
The final session was on Swaraj 75; Sri Amarnath Reddy explained the purpose of Swaraj 75 content building exercise, which is to commemorate and fill-up the gaps in our historical and cultural landscape before the 75thanniversary of Indian independence in the year 2022. He explained how Bharat withstood foreign invasions undauntedly from the 11thcentury which acts as an inspiration especially for the younger generation. He said men, women and specific groups like tribals, have contributed immensely to the glory of Bharat and we need to commemorate them. Along with scholarly content, various forms of literature like prose, poetry, folk arts were used by people to communicate effectively and have become part of resistance to colonial powers. In the run-up to the 75th anniversary, it is imperative that research and study are undertaken by various groups like content developers, academicians, young researchers and enthusiasts in Social media spaces to generate positive affirmative stories from the past and collaborate with each other. He invited the audience to write in to firstname.lastname@example.org with their contributions and suggestions.
Sri Ayush Nadimpalli, Telangana State Prachar Pramukh in his valedictory talk on Swaraj 75 also emphasized that historical dates and events play an important role in building the collective memory of people which contributes to nation-building. He said we people are fortunate to be born in punyabhumi Bharat and we need to rise to the occasion in the service of the motherland. He noted that the word `akshara’ itself denotes one that doesn’t weaken or die, and it is upto us to recognize the value of written works in contributing to national memory. He also reminded the audience that 2005 presented an occasion to commemorate the centenary of Vandematharam movement in the country, similarly everyone contributed to the great monument of Vivekananda Rock Memorial, such events also pave way for cultural revival.
He also cautioned the Social media platforms not to get carried away, as in our zeal of questioning, we start asking what the Govt or PM Modi has done, without realizing that the leftist ecosystem was assiduously and systematically built over decades; govt can only build conducive atmosphere to enable change in the thought process which should lead to social and mindset change. Political change is only a step in the long process. He also emphasized that opponents can be dealt with clear facts and a strong narrative without getting into adverse strong reactions. Also, there would be a few SM champions, who would be targeted, and then it is imperative upon all of us to morally support them. He said there is no need for diffidence at this stage, the past was much more dark, thousands of karyakarthas have given up their lives in the cause of the nation; we are fortunate to be in a much better phase as many people inimical to India are getting exposed routinely. He exhorted the young content creators approach should be intellectually sound, strong and unapologetic. He encouraged the young blood to invest their time and energy in taking up the Dharmic narrative. He said, `we neither believe in Left nor Right. We are just here to uphold the Dharmic values and traditions using social media as a potential tool’. The conclave enthused the young SM activists as a timely guidance for their future work.