“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. ” Bill Gates, Founder of the giant Microsoft Corporations Ltd. Internet has arguably become one of the most indispensible parts of the lives of millions of people around the globe. There are not many laws which regulate the usage of internet for collecting information about the political processes, persona or policies. A common man can readily get involved in the political process by accessing the internet, reading various articles or news on National Politics and give his/her view on the same.
The low cost model of the internet is an effective tool to involve millions of global citizens and make them active members in the political systems. The article ‘The Citizen Participation Gap: Can the Internet Help? ’ points out that the Internet is a medium which cuts across barriers and various sections of the society. It leverages from the varied social, political, and educational backgrounds of the users and thus adds multiple dimensions to the process of political participation. It is important to note that the usage of internet and age of the user are inversely proportional.
As people grow old their internet usage goes down. For example,, most of the Internet users fall in the age group of 18-29 years. These users are active members of various social networking sites and many of them are online to investigate their political participation opportunities. Thus theoretically it could be claimed that it is the widespread reach and use of the Internet which has made it possible for young people ,to become the largest captive audiences to be involved in the process of political participation. One of the recent examples of this could be seen in the Indian politics wherein the ex foreign minister Mr.
Shashi Tharoor garnered massive support from his followers on the social networking site twitter while he was forced to resign after being caught in a controversy with the Indian Premier League. Various online campaigns supporting Shashi Tharoor came up and people expressed their views in the entire process. “We are here to say, we support you Shashi Tharoor. Don’t let them pull you down for you will take our hopes and dreams for a better and brighter India with you. You bring to India everything we had ever hoped would change, and we stand by you,” said a viewer on the Support Shashi Tharoor website.
In the past decade the internet usage among people has gone up. More and more people use the Internet,, and it is being regarded as one of the most powerful mediums giving direct access to a citizen in the political process. Muir believes that the Internet participation of people is the cause of powerful influence. People comment on national or international news, spread their views and comments in the form of blogs and to some extent are instrumental in deciding the course of political development of a news.
Social networking sites like twitter helps people to be directly in touch with their favorite political leaders and give them their views and opinions. This proposal not only increased the participation of citizens but also improved the quality of the projects. Exploring the past and present trends in the use of internet, Coglianese concludes that the Internet will remain a powerful source of information and participation in the future. In conclusion it could be said that in spite of many view points against the use of the internet, the positive influence of Internet on the participation of citizens cannot be denied.
The internet provides a common man a platform and gives them a chance to express their opinion and viewpoints, create their profiles, have a group of online supporters and influence changes in the political scenario. The amount of opportunities that the internet provides and individual to make friends and increase their social networks is massive. No doubt, there are a number of impediments to the efficient application of an Internet?? based government; nevertheless, these obstructions can be dealt with in the years to come.. By Uma Subramanian