The importance of social media, its direct outreach and inherent potential to shape public opinion is uncontested. Used in the right way, it enables quick and effective dialogue with citizens making it indispensable to any government.
Many Govt. agencies and departments are using it the right way, see the Benagaluru Twitter handles for the Police; each one depended on the official twitter handle of the police to get the true information.
But our Smart city which did open its doors to Websites and Facebook pages by govt agencies NOT EVEN ONE is operative.
Social media is a new and highly effective mode of interaction and influence, which the present government acknowledges. It requires constant engagement and adequate resources to be effective and needs to go beyond being a one-way street. Citizens would recognise good and inclusive governance only when their insights are invited, responded to, and included in policy promptly and effectively.
The Belagavi City Corporation Page got a rebirth with the coming of the Smart city plan where there was a need that each of the corporation had a social media presence. Hence September 21, 2015 the page took a rebirth but died off early as no updates were posted after October 9, 2015.
The Belagavi police also had its Facebook Pages (2011) and even Twitter handles but were never used and all were unresponsive in a couple of months.
At this time we also the Local Netas embracing social media sharing their work, meetings on a daily basis. Not all are very responsive to user comments but they do post about their meetings and plans which a welcome sign.
Indian politics and democracy has always been hailed as a story of “Far from the people”, “off the people” and “buy the people”. Is this just another case of returning to good old times as we have learnt to call them?
Traffic Police Chandigarh, Bangalore Traffic Police, Delhi Traffic Police and Mumbai Traffic Police. Apart from the regular traffic updates, they also respond to people’s complaints and even educate citizens about road safety rules. What also recently made news was an initiative by the Delhi Traffic Police that urged its citizens to upload pictures of traffic rules offenders and successfully nabbed over 20,000 of them. The Bangalore Traffic Police also has a similar initiative to nab rule offenders.
Have we just earned ourselves another spell of silence? I guess only time will tell. Till then it’s just you and we here at All About Belgaum and our endeavor to provide a much needed vent to the voices in town that have a lot to say about what needs to be done to make life much better in our own sweet spot in one little corner of the blue planet.
The questions that arises is Why are the Government agencies such as Police, City Corporation shying away from the use of Social Media.