Over last few decades, upper-middle class individuals have become an influential voice in setting the agenda for the nation. Be it screaming news hours or prime time shows in mainstream media, it is all catered towards this elite group of citizens. Successive Government continued to focus and cater to their needs more than large section of poor and rural communities in fear of antagonizing this group. With Twitter in picture, an unduly large influence of this small group continues to grow. With just over 2.2 crore users, which is only 2% of India’s population, Twitter is now the new political and social battleground of ideas and propaganda. What’s important here is that a very big majority of twitter users are of same demographics: someone with college degree and decent paying job or own a business. In other words, they are not just any 2% of India’s population, they are top 2% of India’s economic pyramid.
Due to the structure of the platform, where any user can directly question or tag anyone with their criticism, big celebrities including political leaders and news editors get a quick feedback on their every stance and statements. Many a times it may be an unfair and biased criticism but they do have an impact and incessant attack makes the receiver weary.
Unfortunately, this new class is majorly skewing the agenda in favor of urban elites and gives policy-makers and leaders a very biased opinion. Best example of this is demonitization. They are one of the least impacted section of society because they usually have a credit card or two and part of mobile payment system. They can survive with little cash for lot longer than most of their fellow compatriots. However, they are loudest when it comes to feedback on this policy. While millions of countrymen suffer terribly due to cash crunch and resulting loss of wages and inaccessibility to food, this group continues to shower praise on governing party and leaders on their “vision”, which sends a myopic feedback to those in power: a big majority is supporting this move and they should continue ahead with more vigor. They may miss the pulse of common wo/man and would not come to their aid in time. This is certainly unhealthy and harmful in long run as the leaders will continue to live in a bubble until the elections. Hope powers-that-be listens to the rest of India as much as they do to Twitter-class.