Tag Archives: engagement

How Youth can engage with Politics via Social Media

Ayesha Siddiqa, renowned scholar from Pakistan, in an interview says, “Our middle class is increasingly becoming apolitical, on both sides of the border. They may have an opinion but that doesn’t make them political. They are apolitical firstly. Secondly, they are into this identity mantra which they don’t even understand. The question is “where do I belong?” So the identity in that way becomes very political commodity. Used for manipulation. So that’s what social media does, most of the time- manipulate.” (http://nihalparashar.blogspot.in/2012/05/interview-ayesha-siddiqa-on-india.html).

Siddiqa was correct in her assertion. Our middle class- especially a major section of the youth is increasingly becoming apolitical. Alienation from politics is a part of the characteristic of this emerging youth. Ironically, this segment of society gets updated about politics via Facebook and/or Twitter. Needless to say few hyperactive politicians and organisations have hijacked our social media platforms and their PR machinery is so strong that they have a virtual presence all over. They have attracted the younger population of the country (I am talking about those who have an access to internet; many do not have in our part of the world and thus we must not generalise things) and have forced people to see the society through the coloured lens provided by them. Sad, indeed sad!

In this scenario can we expect our youth to utilise social media for, simply put, to engage with the politics? Yes, we must.

I feel the situation is not too bleak right now. And this is the right time to engage with the younger generation. Just because some people have used the digital platforms in a certain way does not mean we cannot use it in a better way. In fact there are many smaller groups who are using Social Media to not only to reach out to larger audience but also use it for disseminating critical information related to politics and society. There are many voluntary groups who are using social media to help the people affected in Uttarakhand. One such group on facebook is Boond (https://www.facebook.com/groups/177423459059843). These pages and groups are not apolitical. They are discussing politics and are also trying to educate the younger generation about the same.

We need to define ‘Politics’ to engage with it. Politics is just not participating in the annual ritual called election. It is an ongoing process and requires effort from each section of the society to contribute in making of a better society. It is not just about making of a better society but also creating of better opportunities for everybody to be a part of the process. Social media gives an opportunity to be vocal about what you feel; debate on what you feel needs to be changed and engage in conversations with like and not-so-likeminded people. Certainly it helps in the process of building a better ‘democracy’ and it is high time we realise this!

Post by:Nihal Parashar 

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International Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) Award Programme

An Overview – what is YCE?

  • YCE identifies and connects a global network of innovative emerging entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural sector.
  • It champions those who find new ways to take creative work to audiences and communities – e.g. new models of production, distribution, value – and highlights the wider social, economic and cultural benefits in doing so.
  • It is about demonstrating leadership to develop the creative sector and cultural market.
  • YCE presents opportunities for networking, skills sharing and development, peer learning, resources, and inspiration.
  • Above all, YCE is a mindset. It’s about taking risks, seeing opportunities and doing something one is passionate about.

Objectives

  • Creative entrepreneurs are primary agents in the dissemination of new creative ideas and cultural experiences. As such they are multipliers in the context of cultural relations.
  • To extend both the understanding of what local audiences are interested in and looking for and how to engage those audiences with new ideas. The YCE network provides vital intelligence that allows shaping the local offer more effectively.
  • To develop useful relationships with entrepreneurial individuals who present new ideas for partnership, collaboration and potentially new funding streams to take forward relationships/projects with greater local relevance and sustainability embedded in them.
  • Through wider engagement and nurturing, investment in this programme and the opportunities that arise from it, this network of YCEs has become a central vehicle for the cultural relations agenda, not just in the arts and creative economy, but a wider engagement that links many strands of British Council activity purposefully together.

Outputs 

A cadre of innovative international entrepreneurs engaged with the UK

leading to:

  • Better market understanding about the creative and cultural economy in the UK and participating countries and improved cultural relations

leading to:

  • The flow of more cultural work between the UK and participating countries

through:

  • The development of a more skilled and entrepreneurial creative sector around the world, with a healthy independent sector able to fund new cultural activities and creative business, with the interest and abilities to work internationally
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