Social Media Sangam 2023
Samachara Bharati conducted the 5th edition of the prestigious Social Media Sangamam on 26th February 2023 at Keshav Memorial college, Bhagyanagar.
Dr Gopal Reddy, President of Samachara Bharati welcomed the participants and in his opening remarks said that India thrives in its lakhs of villages, and Samachara Bharati strives to reach news and information all across including villages. Samachara Bharati also conducted film festivals to connect through A-V medium. As we know, social media is a tremendous influencer in both positive and negative ways. We are aware of Angus Madison’s economic study of the world which has estimated India’s GDP in the world at over 26% even in the 1700s before the colonization by the British. We need to project the positive contributions of Bharat in social media.
Shri Amarnath Reddy introduced the day’s guest speakers.
Dr GN Rao, retd DG, DRDO, the keynote speaker who has worked in missile technologies, spoke on govt’s policy of Atma Nirbhar Bharat; self reliance is gained when we produce maximum number of commodities and products in India and are able to export to various countries. India used to import almost 90% of defence requirements earlier, now govt has formulated a policy that defence equipments should be made within India, today we are manufacturing Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, heavy missiles- short and long range like Agni, long-range guns, Arjun tanks, MRL Pinaka, military vehicles, communication systems, Software-defined Radios with encryption, unmanned armed vehicles Nishant, Lakshya etc & 5th Generation aircrafts, radars and weapons are being manufactured today. Steel and aluminum are the main ingredients in indigenous weapon technologies, we are rapidly achieving not only atma-nirbharta but also achieving major exports. In the railways, the successful Vande Bharat express is a major win for indigenous technology. We are still exporting huge amounts of raw materials like steel, while still buying processed materials from foreign countries at exorbitant rates. We need to now augment our capacities to minimise imports.
Dr Sirisha Kasinadhuni, the great granddaughter of the doyen of intellectuals, Sri Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao, working as a Data Scientist; in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and has been part of ATAL incubation center, CCMB was the next speaker. Dr Sirisha said we should represent our cultural attire and ethos in social media. She cautioned about divulging personal information on social media as all information can be traced. Machine Learning and AI technology are writing algorithms which promote and favor themselves. We need to promote locally manufactured products. Phones are selling facial recognition technologies using the data we upload on Google photos, drive etc. Startup India is now initiating language conversion tools, we need to consciously use SM tools for our national progress.
Shri Kalpesh Joshi, Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Devagiri, explained about the recently held Banjara Kumbh, a mega tribal festival, organized by Sants and Sadhus in Godhri, near Latur, Maharashtra in Jan 2023. More than 15 lakh people, and over 1000 sants participated in the week-long event. The focus was on rampant christian conversions; Dharma Rakshana Samiti which is leading the campaign to create awareness in the tribal communities against conversions led the kumbh event. Guru Nanakdev’s son Chandrabhana founded the Udasi Sampradaya, and their disciples led the Banjara Kumbh initiative, and all the Sants were brought on a common platform. Several challenges exist in the field, especially preachings and conversions by evangelists who are trapping the Banjara communities in so-called ‘miracle healing’; several social challenges like drugs and substance abuse, fault-lines like scattered Banjaras identifying their language as different from mainstream languages, and themselves as ‘mool nivasis’ who are different from Hindus. These false narratives are widespread and the stranglehold was sought to be broken with the positive narratives that Banjara community is an integral part of the nation, it was earlier led by great sants like Sevalal ji Maharaj, tribals were also great freedom fighters, and that these communities traditionally worshipped all Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Shri Hitesh Shankar, chief editor, Panchjanya was the next speaker, who presented the data on the rise of social media/digital media in India, across all age groups. Information is getting processed as news stories, which are adapted and placed across all news platforms – TV, print, digital media etc. Even if mainstream media is hesitant to pick up some kind of news, social media is spreading it fast. As the pressure is increasing on mainstream news, they too are becoming fellow- travellers. However various kinds of disinformation, misinformation, mal-information are polluting the media space. The nefarious agenda in the name of ‘fact-checking’, funded from foreign sources, has also spread it’s vicious tentacles in social media, ex: Alt- News. ED exposed the Chinese connections of agencies like News Click. A Chinese agency called ‘UC Browser’ started filtering and slicing news. The sponsored NGOs like Sabrang are working in tandem and in close coordination. A news agencies’ funder- IPSMF is known to be supporting several unsocial and antisocial agendas.
In the final session of the day, Shri Rajagopal informed the participants of Samachara Bharati web portals including vsktelangana.com news website. The portal gives correct accurate news and provides intellectual inputs in the war against false narratives.
Shri Ayush Nadimpalli, RSS Dakshin-madhya Kshetra Prachar Pramukh in the final talk of the event, stated that we deal with correct news and correct narratives, and the alternate ecosystem already exists. The society is still standing strong despite all onslaughts. Sri Ayush gave an anecdote of a youth with nationalistic thoughts, who after joining in a premier institute in hyderabad, was led astray by the strong left ecosystem, ultimately committed suicide naming those very people in his note. We need to develop a connect with the educated youth, especially in premier educational institutes in the country. Cultural studies depts generally study culture to deconstruct and to create another kind of culture. Cultural Marxism and Critical Studies is taught to primarily resist, reject and rebel, to dismantle Hindu Dharma and nationhood, and work towards a kind of utopian Marxism. Western societies are in the midst of major challenges as they are being internally taken over. The premiering of individual over families and societies also aids market economies. They also seek to impose the categorization of ‘indigenous populations’ who were annihilated in the west, as ‘mool nivasi’ concept on tribal societies in Bharat, whereas all communities in Bharat are equally indigenous, spread across as giri nivasis, gram nivasis, nagara nivasis etc. Post-1947, there has been a narrow categorization of nation as just a territorial entity, rather than the nation as an entity and a carrier of cultural heritage. The separatist khalistani seeds were sown in the west a few decades ago, the consequences of which are being seen today. Social media activists should focus on the divisive ‘narrow /smaller/ subaltern identities’ emerging from the west and learn to counter these. People around the world are hungry for India’s soft power. UK is unable to address the issue of criminal ‘Grooming gangs’ which are insidiously exploiting women. The woke culture is even fudging gender identities. The need of the hour is to focus on the social media trends emerging from the west, so that we can correct the distortions.
The social media sangamam was a great success with a huge audience, especially youth attending in large numbers.