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The “Social Media Conclave” of Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Forum held on Nomber 18th, 2017 in Chennai (1)!

November 21, 2017

The “Social Media Conclave” of Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Forum held on Nomber 18th, 2017 in Chennai (1)!

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017.Hall entrance.outside

Entrance of the Rasika Ranjini Sabha, where the conclave was held.

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017.Hall entrance

The board about the conclave.

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017.registration

Registration of the participants.

Joint venture of the conclave on “Social media”: As some friends of Facebook informed about a meeting to be held at Mylapore and invited to come, our group had decided to attend and accordingly, we proceeded to Mylapore[1]. Indeed, the Rasika Ranjini Sabha has been constructed / reconstructed with modern look! At the entrance, two persons were sitting and asked us, whether we wanted to register. After filling up a paper with our names, phone nos, e-mail etc, we were given two plastic folders containing an issue of “Swarajya”, scrbbling pad and a pen, no details about the program or the organizers. Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Forum (TNYTF) organized its 1st Social Media Conclave on 18 November 2017 at the Hall of Rasika Raanjini Sabha, 30/1, Sundareswarar Street, Mylapore in Chennai. The Tamil Nadu Young Thinkers Forum (TNYTF) organized it in association with the ARR Charitable Trust[2] with an aim to elevate the quality of public discourse in Tamil Nadu as well as the country and appraise social media trends in the state, citizen engagement in governance using social media, role of social media in enhancing quality of public discourse and the future of social media, followed by an open house. Invited Journalists, authors, bloggers and columnists were among the speakers lined up at the conclave. There was an announcement about it in “Swarajya Magazine” website[3]. When I just looked around after sitting, I could find only persons of elite group!

MAFA Pandian inagurated- 18-11-2017

Inauguration of the conclave: Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, (Minister for Tamil, Art & Culture, Archaeology and Museums, Government of Tamil Nadu) Said[4], “The Tamilnadu government will soon be introducing 1,000 new Tamil words every month to strengthen the language’s vocabulary. This will be implemented with the help of language experts in the State.” He was the chief guest at the first social media conclave of the Tamilnadu Young Thinkers’ Forum, conducted here today in association with ARR Charitable Trust. “The state of Tamil language in the international arena is not good. For example, even Google translate is not able to get the grammar correct when it comes to our mother tongue while it does its job fluently in other languages. The main reason for this, I believe, is the lack of constructive propagation. The language continues to be hard to imbibe for new learners…………As of now, Tamil stands in the 16th place worldwide while Hindustani stands in 10th position. So, to take the language forward, we have to simplify and propagate it through social media. We should make Tamil more inclusive to all.” Thus, he highlighted the pros and cons of the increasing role of social media in our lives, first tracing the evolution of print media to television to social media. He spoke of the crucial role of social media in the Chennai floods, Jallikattu protests, and Cyclone Vardah. He also noted that Tamil had slipped in its position in language usage on Internet platforms from No.2 to No.10 and urged the audience to restore its pre-eminent position.

MAFA Pandian -given momento-- 18-11-2017

In Afghanistan, there is no current in most of the places and hence there is no internet facilities: The panelists kept the audience of more than 250 active netizens keenly engaged with various topical issues of contemporary interest and current trends, particularly keeping the Tamil social media platforms in mind[5]. The figure is exaggerated, as only 100 would have come. Multi-faceted inputs were offered by all the speakers, including the distinguished guest of honor, Allah Mohammad Kakar, who is a member of Afghanistan Youth Parliament from Kabul. He said, “Tamil language and culture is indeed exceptional. We at Afghanistan telecast Tamil movies to create awareness about family bonding and to create cultural integrity. In Afghanistan, Tamil food is still longed for. As a country, we have been totally destroyed by wars. After every war, we build our country from scratch.” Mohammed also spoke about Afghanistan’s Internet reach and its trends on social media[6]. He gave data obtained from the capital, Kabul, as that is the safest place in Afganistan, as he claimed and tried to show that few women were also active in the Social media. In most of the other places, there is no internet facility is available, as there is no power!

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017-Mafa Pandian, Allah Md kakkar

The first session: Panelists on Trends in Social Media in Tamil Nadu were :

  1. Ashokha Varshini – Journalist and Anchor, Thanthi TV.
  2. Shyam Sekhar – Entrepreneur and investment thinker
  3. Prasanna Viswanathan – CEO, Swarajya.
  4. Ashwin Kumar – UnReal Columnist

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017-other speakers

Trending news, fake news etc- (11.01 to 11.12 am): Asoka Varshini started with “Trending news” as appearing in her phone, and she claimed that it was not matching with Tamilnadu. She pointed out that the trends are manufactured, sponsored, forced on youngsters using the expression, “You guys”. The fake news has to be tackled with the technology. The private companies work for their profits and therefore, they do not have concern for social welfare. Hence, the staff of these companies manipulaate accounts etc. Donald Trump’s twitter account was stopped by his staff for 11 minutes[7]. The Guardian reported[8], “A Twitter employee deactivated Donald Trump’s personal account on their last day of work, the company said on Thursday, likely meaning the action was deliberate. The move by the employee – who has not been named – meant that the president’s @realdonaldtrump account was down for 11 minutes.

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017.first session

Mass movements are instigated for subversion (11.12 to 11.27 am): Prasanna Viswanathan claimed that Thamilnadu has been unique in the Social media, pointing out the following features:

  1. Leftist orientation is gaining in Tamilnadu, that is stunning and proving the bankruptcy of intelligentsia. The anti-Industry attitude is also alarming. The eco-fascism is exhibited in opposing neutrino project, hydrocarbon, etc.
  2. They tried to make Tamilnadu as “agitational ground” after the success of “jallikattu” movement. Thus, they want every issue to be turned out to be such movement.
  3. Unfortunately, conspiracy theory like “Illumaniti” working in Tamilnadu is sickening.
  4. By every issue, political subversion is tried to be brought.
  5. The misogynist attitude found in attacking Chinmayoi etc., proves the dangerous trend of ideology, targeting attacking one particular community.
  6. The Hinduphobia is also noted, under the guise of attacking one ideology, social group etc.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media has also aiding and abetting these trends.

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017.audience view.2

The Social media could be made useful (11.28 to 1.39 pm): Shyam Sekar delved upon the following: The rise of “Social media” is based on the bankruptcy of ideology. It starts with funds of the capitalists, that is neither black nor white, but “grey”. TN politics has been OBC politics, but, it lacks political will. Had TN plugged the holes of pilferage, leakages etc., in Electricity, it would have excelled Gujarat. The TN Social media spread a lot of lies about GST, demonetization and other issues. It was Chidambaram who introduced “Corporate tax” to be paid minimum 20%, yet, the social media propaganda claims that the corporate pay no tax. The social media could be made useful by the following methods, instead of blaming each other:

  1. Friendship (learn from each other)
  2. Following (mutual issues)
  3. Fellowship (discussing confidential issues).

Like any other party, BJP is also OBC party and the politic trend would be same.

Then, the “emperor of satire” – Aswin Kumar spoke……………..that was not so impressive, as generalized one.

Thus, the  first panel on current trends in social media in Tamil Nadu drew attention to the sharp polarisation of Tamil Nadu social media users, the increasing use of social media by political parties and affiliates, and the agitation politics – a recent trend in Tamil Nadu that gets amplified by social media. The ubiquitous presence of memes in Tamil and the “going-viral” of such memes were talked about in this session.

© Vedaprakash

21-11-2017.

Tamilnadu Young Thinkers Forum, 2017.audience view

[1] On 17-11-2017, when I contacted, the Sabha, I was informed that there was no such meeting. Then, on 18-11-2017, again, contacted, somebody confirmed that the meeting was there. One of the two numbers given was wromg – 98840 15909 / 99401 88325.

[2] A R R Charitable Trust based in Chennai, 99-A, Royapettah High Road, Royapettah, in the district Chennai and the region Tamil Nadu it’s in the Southern of India.

[3] https://swarajyamag.com/announcements/chennai-conclave-to-explore-public-discourse-standards-on-social-media

[4] NewsToady, 1000 new Tamil words to be introduced every month, NT Bureau, November 18, 2017.

[5]https://www.facebook.com/tnyoungthinkersforum/photos/pcb.332180013929020/332175737262781/?type=3&theater

[6] https://www.newstodaynet.com/index.php/2017/11/18/1000-new-tamil-words-to-be-introduced-every-month/

[7] The Guardian, Trump twitter account shut down by employee on last day of work, Friday 3, November 2017 02.26 GMT.

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/02/trump-twitter-account-offline

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