March 23, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Few weeks after expressing regret for his comments against Kartarpur Sahib yatra, Punjab DGP has issued more controversial remarks.
DGP’s STATEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
According to a written press release issued by Department of Public Relation, Government of Punjab (copy available with Sikh Siyasat News), Punjab DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta on Thursday (March 19) termed ‘attempts to radicalize youth through social media as a major challenge’.
NARRATIVE BUILDING AND ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA:
In social and political sphere actions are determined and directed by the narrative. In the present era, media is a powerful medium of building narrative. In recent times social media has emerged as one of the major modes which plays an influential role in narrative building.
As the majority of conventional media outlets incline to promote state-sponsored narrative, social media plays a noteworthy role in building people’s narrative and thus influencing public opinion.
SIKH SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVISM & DGP’s STATEMENT AGAINST KARTARPUR SAHIB YATRA:
In recent times, many entities other than state were able to build their own narrative over social media on vital issues.
As social media is an open platform and any activity covered by defined offences are easy to detect and police could easily proceed against those involved in such activities.
In recent past Sikhs were able to use the narrative building power of social media. Narrative surrounding the Kartarpur Sahib Yatra is one such instance.
So, basically it is the narrative building power of the social media and its use by Sikhs about which the Punjab DGP is talking about as a ‘major challenge’.
It is also worth noting that DGP Dinkar Gupta’s utterances against Kartarpur Sahib yatra had invited strong criticism from Sikh netizens i.e. Sikhs active over the internet or the social media. After extensive outrage DGP Gupta had to express regret over his remarks.
It may also be recalled here that Punjab DGP had participated in a high level ‘brain-stroming’ session in Delhi about Kartarpur Sahib corridor before issuing his statement against Kartarpur Sahib yatra.
It is clear that the social media activism of Sikhs defused the Indian agencies attempt to create adverse opinion about Kartarpur Sahib yatra.
So, it is understandable why social media is now a major challenge for DGP Gupta.