QuoraED! This is when we pick up a trending or interesting thread from Quora and spin a story around it.
Considering the importance of social media in generating dialogue on important social issues that concern humanity trans-nationally, we can definitely pause a moment and muse on how differently would social movements pan out in the last century if we already had social media back then.
Some of the biggest political, social and cultural regulations swept over the world in the late 19th Century and the whole of 20th century, which made the world the way we live it today, without social media.
And right now, we cannot separate the importance of digital advocacy in generating impetus on an agenda from the groundwork. One case in point, the Egyptian revolution of 2011 that would not have shaped up the way it did without Twitter. The reach of social media is stunning, how could some of the biggest revolutions benefit from their presence.
Thanks to the folks at Quora, they have cracked the Indian Freedom Movement nut. How would our goodhearted Indian Freedom Fighters use social media pre-1947? Let’s find out.
Mahatma Gandhi would probably be too much in love with Facebook and Twitter. They are non-violent means after all.
Battling the men with memes rather than bullets is exactly the kind of ideological warfare that Gandhiji would advocate. Come on, look at Snowden. Maybe not through memes, but this 21st century civil disobedient is fighting an ideological warfare remotely.
Indian expatriates would therefore fight a remote ideological warfare on YouTube.
Even conservatives. Imagine the kind of ideological pressure the force of uniform advocacy against the British that would generate. Back then, there were many Edward Snowdens would operate through letters and radio frequency. So imagine their glee if they discovered social media. What would I not give to listen to a podcast by Subhash Chandra Bose.
Many Indian Freedom Fighters would host different pages for themselves. Or groups. Closed groups actually.
Facebook live would be streaming speeches and meetings across the country inspiring the patriotic sentiment even more furiously.
Facebook events would pop up to invite people for demonstrations and events.
Let me quote two users here:
”RSVP’s for events like The Dandi March and Quit India movement. A million people would have clicked ‘Going’, and the actual turn-out would have been just 1%. And the 1% that attended would be busy updating their check-ins with acclaimed freedom fighters.” – Lakshmi Chandrashekaran
“Event Advanced notification would have gone to all and most people could have attended the Capital Punishment of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.” –Kush Tripathi.
I agree. Anybody interested in joining Gandhi on the Dandi March? I am rsvp-ing ‘interested’.
The British would ban Facebook.
Naturally. I mean if they were banning radical newspapers spreading dissent against them, they would naturally be at Mark Zuckerberg’s throat for creating such a radically open platform. With China banning Facebook for spreading anti-national agendas in the present day, we know that it would most-definitely happen.
Or maybe make Facebook very elitist and simply seal it off from Indians. The login page would host the tag. “Indians and dogs not allowed.” (Purwa Rojindar, good one.)
And well, Indians would be deactivating Facebook accounts as a Swadeshi movement initiative.
Like duh. Obvio. Western Cotton clothes. Western social media. Same to same. Go back.
Add to that a generous dose of picture stories, iconic selfies, many many many status updates which would keep going viral. The entire ideological war for independence would in fact be driven by social media.
Many Quora users also mused that people would be busier in keyboard heroism rather than actual action. We would be much busier hitting likes than hitting the streets to protest. Gandhiji would be reduced to Anna Hazare. We would never win freedom in the end.
Here, I disagree. Social media gives people the kind of individualistic freedom of thought and speech that our freedom fighters were fighting for. That was the quest, and whether it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram it would only help in pushing the argument against the British home with even greater impact than we can fathom.
Well, the Indian Freedom Fighters didn’t have it back then. The stakes were much higher on ground zero than we can feel from the comfort of our couches. But we fought, we won. Today, let’s not misuse that freedom. Let’s use social media to support and champion worthy causes with true heart and grit, in every way we sustainably can.
Read the original thread for many many hilarious responses here: https://www.quora.com/India/What-would-have-happened-if-Facebook-existed-during-Indias-struggle-to-be-independent?page_id=7
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.