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India’s oppressed groups had high hopes from Internet. But upper castes got in there too

The Oxfam-Newslaundry report shows how upper castes dominate Indian newsrooms. But journalists like Rajat Sharma, Sudhir Chaudhary and Rahul Kanwal have also emerged as influencers on digital space.

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Journalists with the most Twitter followers in India are mostly upper caste Hindus. Out of the 20 most followed, 19 belong to the upper caste. There is no one from the SC, ST or OBC category. Seven of them are women, and Rubika Liyaquat is the only Muslim person on the list. It appears as if the Internet and social media haven’t really been the upending force that they were imagined to be. Social media today isn’t the big equaliser promised of a decade ago.In 2011, I was teaching a course on new media at New Delhi’s Indian Institute of Mass Communication. I would tell students that they could do journalism if they only had Rs 10 and access to a cyber cafe. The Internet, at least in its early years, seemed like it would be a democratic medium. As Scott Gant, author of We’re All Journalists Now, argued, “Freedom of the press now belongs not just to those who own printing presses, but also to those who use cell phones, video cameras, blogging software, and other technology to deliver news and views to the world.”

So, when the era of blogs and social media platforms ushered in, there was all-round euphoria that the media matrix of the big four — huge capital, veto power of the advertisers, dominant ideology, and government control — can now be challenged by millions of ‘nobodies’.

In India’s context, the David in this case were the subalterns — Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and the other backward classes — who were not represented at all in the legacy newsrooms, at least certainly not in leadership positions. But 10 years down the line, the Internet hasn’t really democratised anything and just replicated social hierarchies online as well. The Oxfam-Newslaundry report, released in August 2019, has empirically demonstrated how caste-ridden, hierarchical structure is persistent in Indian newsrooms.

Also read: Brahmin pride and pain flood Facebook after Vikas Dubey’s encounter killing

Digital media too isn’t a democratic space

My hypothesis when social media became a tool in most people’s hands was that the voiceless underclass of India will finally express themselves in a massive way in the digital space, because they have countless stories to tell and the financial threshold to own a media platform has been lowered.

Today, I have been proved both right and wrong. Millions of people, many of them from the underprivileged sections of Indian society, have started writing and uploading videos and photographs on digital and social media. Supported by cheaper mobile data plans and entry-level budget smartphones, a plethora of social media users are putting out all sorts of content. It is easier now for Dalits and other subaltern youths to start their own Facebook page and YouTube channels.

In an earlier article in ThePrint, I have written about how these digital platforms are gaining good traction and filling the gap created by the mainstream media, where the subalterns not only remain poorly represented in the workforce but stories of their struggles and atrocities committed on them also don’t find much space.

And this is where I have been proved wrong. I was under the impression that the digital and social media space will be a pluralistic-democratic place where all voices will be heard and debated, thus making it a perfect public sphere as envisaged by German philosopher and critical theorist Jürgen Habermas.

The Habermasian idea of the public sphere is that it’s “a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed”. In a perfect public sphere, “access is guaranteed to all citizens with the guarantee of freedom of assembly and association and the freedom to express and publish their opinions-about matters of general interest”. For Habermas, newspapers and magazines, radio and television are the media of the public sphere.

In India, though, access to these media platforms is not equal to different communities. Indian public sphere is both hegemonic and distorted.

Also read: Annihilation of caste in Indian corporate possible. But firms must say Dalit lives matter

Legacy media also monopolised digital space

Unlike most democracies, India does not have any cross-media ownership regulation. In 2013, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) came up with a consultation paper to initiate the discussion while calling for putting in place “cross media ownership rules for broadcasting, print and the new media… since there is ample evidence of market dominance”.

But the consultations were put on the back burner because it was against the interest of big media corporations. So, we have media houses that run newspapers, magazines, TV news and entertainment channels, DTH platforms, cable networks, and radio stations. Now, they also own digital platforms.

Digital media space, too, has been hegemonised by the legacy media. Since they were already producing news for TV and/or print platforms, they just employed a team to upload the content on digital platforms. They saved money too because the same print and TV reporters were asked to file stories and videos for the digital arm too.

Also read: Ambedkar took on Brahmins in Indian media for their loyalty to the Congress party

Hierarchical social media denies level-playing field 

In his treatise Annihilation of Caste, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had this to say about Brahmins: “(T)he Brahmins form the intellectual class of the Hindus. It is not only an intellectual class, but it is a class which is held in great reverence by the rest of the Hindus.” Ambedkar’s views hold true for other upper caste Hindus, although to a lesser extent.

Hence, it is not surprising that the upper caste journalists and editors rule the roost in legacy media, first discovered by celebrated American journalist Kenneth J. Cooper in 1996, and confirmed by the Oxfam-Newslaundry report decades later in 2019. Even in the digital space, this structure has not changed.

Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, have a process of verification, which is opaque and discriminatory. I have highlighted this in detail in an earlier article in ThePrint. This process creates hierarchy in conversations, with verified accounts getting more traction and response. Usually, they start the conversation and others follow. Since the tech companies have decided to make this process subjective and arbitrary, it automatically leads to “denial” of verification of the accounts of SCs, STs, and OBCs, as argued by Supreme Court lawyer Nitin Meshram.

In this scenario, the status quo in Indian media spaces continues. It’s true that SC/ST/OBCs as well as young Muslim users of social media have launched their own digital media platforms, but they are just trying to fill the gap. They are still at the margin. The sad part is that in India, we do not have anything resembling Chicago Defender in the print, TV or digital space.

Dilip Mandal is the former managing editor of India Today Hindi Magazine, and has authored books on media and sociology. Views are personal.

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  1. High time Twitter implements reservation. For every follower that a verified account gets, forcefully add 2 followers for every OBC handle, 4 for SC and 10 for ST handles. Not to forget, delete 5 followers from every brahmin’s handle. Make caste certificate, a must to join or stay on Twitter.

  2. I am not a dalit nor a brahmin but belong to a dominant caste which enjoys economic and political power in one of the Southern states.
    Let me put things in some perspective.
    95% of those who have posted comments above seem to have no knowledge about how caste functions nor do they seem to be open to any discussion from which they can learn. Not very surprising if you come from a caste which thinks that they are born to preach/teach and others must listen. Listening needs humility…abusing others (see the comments) shows your caste arrogance which comes from, not your merit, but the privilege that your forefathers handed over to you by exploiting others.
    Not sure if these people have read the article because they must have preconcluded that it is biased, casteist, etc. Some may have read but don’t want to listen because they think that they know that casteism doesn’t exist in India!
    Casteism thrives not just in villages or small towns but in elite urban educational institutions, in many obvious and subtle ways. Although all upper castes and even OBCs practice discrimination againt dalits, the worst are baniyas and brahmins. In the heart of the Indian cities, there are brahmin-only apartments, real estate ventures, gated communities, paid hostels, even seperate burial grounds for brahmins, etc. Brahmins and baniyas put out TOLET boards with the cation, “Vegetarians only.” When you go there, they will ask your name, gotra, etc. not whether you are a vegetarian or not. See how honest they are! Most upper castes in Indian cities do not allow their maids to use the same plate or glass that they use to eat food or drink water. But, they are fine with these maids washing the dishes or cleaning their houses. Of course, when they go to a hotel, they do not have much of an option. Brahmin parents impose their eating habits on their children. That’s why, their children go to their friends’ homes and eat meat secretly.
    People who have posted the above comments know that, in all public temples in India, all jobs of priests are reserved for brahmins. There are people who are more scholarly than brahmins. Many brahmin priests are no better than parrots but still they are employed as priests. If priests are so poorly paid, why don’t they give up their jobs and allow others to perform in temples? Brahmins have no monopoly over GOD! Why Veda patasalas, which are run with public money that comes either from the govt or from temple income (both are public), non brahmins are not allowed to study?
    You just have to look at the matrimonial sites to understand how the upper castes (including NRIs with lots of so called “merit” who spread caste abroad….read on casteism at CISCO?!) are obsessed with caste and also gothra. Some of my secular-minded liberal and even radical leftist friends wear the sacred thread! Do the commentators above know what the sacred thread stands for? One guy once said, “we just wear it to scratch our backs!” Caste recognition/identification happens through several markers such as sacred threads, clothes, proper names, food habits, the kind of language one speaks, and so on. No one need not openly ask if you are a brahmin. Five minutes of conversation is enough to guess that you are brahmin but the same is not easy with other castes. Sharmas, Shastris, Mukherjees, Chatterjees, Bhattacharyas, Guptas, Reddys, etc., which appear at the top of CVs is enough to decipher your caste. Merit comes much later or never.
    In the media, there are too many upper caste mediocre people who are stooges to their bosses and don’t speak the truth. Anyone who speaks the truth are shown the door. Whether in the media or in colleges and universities, when you apply for a job, you need to send a “recommendation” letter, which certifies the candidates’ credentials. If selections are done on pure merit, why do you need a recommendation letter? I know how happily upper caste mentors issue such letters to their beloved upper caste students but not dalits. Meritorious dalits with self respect are often punished in many illegal ways. For those who want to know and really learn what the truth is….there are plenty of sources to find out from. Also, the brand name from where you got the certificate fetches you a job. But, such private schools/colleges charge lakhs….paid by the upper caste parents to make their children “meritorious.”. So merit is reserved for the upper castes who have the money. There may be a few exceptions but that is not the issue.
    Lastly, it is because of caste, India has never been united or strong, and therefore outsiders could easily occupy a divided country…’s commonsense… so don’t blame present-day Muslims or Christians who are the rightful citizens of this country..
    The sad truth is….most upper caste middle classes are neither knowledgeable in the Vedas, etc. which they are proud of….nor are in the modern knowledge systems such as history, economics, political science, etc. They are now increasingly becoming ignorant and not meritorious because all they have to do is to go to a coaching centre (paid by the parents), cram information and pass the entrance exams. Every year thousands of upper caste children commit suicide unable to bear the stress put on them by the coaching centres or the residential schools. But, the greed of the parents does not stop them from sending their children there.
    Getting a job after passing a stupid exam may be easy but calling it merit is stupid. If Brahmins and other upper castes are doing well abroad, it is because they have the resources to become cyber coolis…..others don’t have. Not really much to be proud of!
    One may or may not agree with the writer of this article, but must have the humility to see if there is a point. Upper caste people need to do serious self introspection.
    No doubt, there will be trolling but they must know that they are wasting their time!

    • Let’s address the issue of how to lift the downtrodden people at par with the upper caste successful people. Studies show the poor and the dalits haven’t been able to make use of whatever limited tools and means were available to them.

  3. Print knows what to publish and what not. Writer has written the blog under instructions of Print. Including me all read it for its hate. Means Print agenda is successful.

  4. I really laugh at the points raised by the writer… Is Rajdeep Sardesai followed because of his CASTE or because he is a good Journalist???? Is Rubika Liaqat followed because she is a Muslim or because she is a good Journalist????… is Anupama Chopra followed because she is a Brahmin or because she is a good Journalist????….Is Shekhar Gupta being followed because of CASTE or because he is a good Journalist???… This writer like many others of his ilk, are taking things a bit too far… In Journalism, like other creative fields, one can survive only if one is good…. Does anybody even bother about Kavi Shailendraji’s Caste…. Lovers of Music love him, respect him and enjoy his songs, even today, because of the quality of his songs… They dont love him based on his caste…
    I think, rather than crying victimhood, everyone should work hard in their chosen areas…. They will be recognised, respected and loved based on their output…

  5. A community or class which has been ruling the society and dominating for thousands of years can not be ruled out by framing laws AGAINST it. The vacancies in top institutions for the reserved seats for backward communities is a proof that the objective is not easy to achieve and to extent unrealistic. The perils of supporting and putting on the top as country heads is all over. Reservations have caused enormous damage to this country and should be done away with. Media is no different. Only capable will rise.

  6. Just becoz upper castes have better paisa, better education, better wealth to pressnt better news doesnt mean they are biased. People will watch only decorated news not 10Rs. News. How can u blame govt or society for this. I am not a Dalit how would I know plight of a Dalit. World seems to be fair enough for me. Dalits have top bollywood stars, top businessmen, top media giantsand the prime ministers, chief ministers… Only thing is I forgot their names. Savarnas have fought to enter into reservations , the only area where Dalits are…. Its hard to understand this megalomaniac underworld psycho castist network for me… Becoz the world seems to be fair enough for everyone…. But then I am not an idiot

  7. People look for content before following anyone on social media not caste. This is the lowest level of journalism I’ve ever seen.

    • People who look into content are very less. Upper caste have always been biased which is why there hardly are any dalits in highest posts in govt as they never are given promotions even when deserving of it.

      People see what govt decides people should see. And they don’t want people to know about opression of Dalits. OBC SC ST are 70% of population. Yet hardly anyone in highest govt posts. Furthermore which businessmen and journalist are you talking of? U don’t remember the names cuz there aren’t any. U cannot recall even single name is in itself a proof.

      Open ur eyes. India will develop only when the 70%. You lack a lot of awareness. If only you stop watching TV series or going out for parties or enjoying pleasures of life, you’ll be able to see the truth.

      Don’t talk about reservation without any data or research.

  8. Filed an e fir against this mandal bandal uncle ..this time he spread so much hate. logic

  9. I don’t think godi media. Goswami etc should be journalist at all. Maybe it’s caste maybe not. Whatever, but shure journalism is fucked up in India. Social media is a open platform but still you can use funds to spread your content. If every thing is on organic then you can say it’s directly proportional to the content quality and skill level.

  10. See, the upper caste Or whatsoever deserve it and hence are the most followed. At least leave something outside incredible India’s incredible reservation pls… In India, we general caste are suffering a lot in giving up seats to company Ceos sons or daughters who get a qaurter of what we get in exams. Media is a place where the deserved are rewarded, not like government jobs and exams which is exclusively for the reserved… Reservation is a mockery on the word equality in the Preamble of Indian Constitution…

  11. In India “caste” is a “curse” which is embedded in the DNA of the upper castes to discriminate against the SC/ST/OBCs from the primary school to the University level, Medical Education, Judiciary, Bureaucracy, MLAs, MPs, any walk of life. The upper castes “deliberately” “deprive” the lower castes with everything thing in their power even if it means to deprive them of their lives. Lockdown is the best evidence of this veritable truth from the Judiciary to the elected representatives, save CM Soren of Jharkhand, who was an exception; and cine stars who can be counted on your fingertips. This is the reality of India, otherwise why is Anand Teltumde behind bars ?

  12. Don’t tell me that you also need reservation in news rooms and social media……. Don’t blame upper caste for everything instead do some homework….. People like deserve one not reserve one……

  13. If someone sneezes this guy can differentiate whether it is an upper caste sneeze or lower caste sneeze. God know when will this non sense stop

  14. Dilip Mandal, firstly take the example of yourself only. In your professional career till now, which worthwhile contribution is yours which can be cited as a journalistic milestone?

  15. The author Mr mandal is hung up on caste. I wonder how much venom he would have spewed during his active years. With more than 70 years (2-3 generations) of reservations does he still think that obs/sc-st/ Muslims are marginalized. He sees only the caste of the news presenter and not the content in it. His brain knows just one think – caste. It’s time that he come out of it to expand his views and become inclusive in his thoughts and actions instead of wasting his faculties on such things. There is only one caste – humanity. Understand this Mr mandal. Wake up to this reality and try doing good to fellow country men.

  16. Hinduphobia and anti-Brahmin rhetoric strikes again! Liberal always seem to look down on us, like we all are second class citizen.

  17. Again The Print had did the same thing. First of all you fight for lower caste, but when the list of journalist comes you categorise them into caste and religion according to name. Is not it hypocrisy? People want destroy the oppressive caste system which came after East India Company.
    A second thing the caste system you refer actually came during British Raj. Colin Mackenzie writes Indian didn’t considered caste during initial stage of British Raj.
    Many historians like Jole Brerton also writes nothing discriminatory was written in the Vedas .
    It will be good that you do unbiased research on these subjects and bring the glorious past of our country before youth.

  18. Author has just said what data suggest. It is up to reader how you take it.

    If data suggest that a perticular community diminat a open space, then some form of reservation has helped that perticular community for example journalism need better language to communicate and language skills are passed by generations. Like if one knows Enlish then his/her kids get exposer to it as soon he/she is born. Thousands year of reservation in everything has helped elites to compete better and another 100+ years will be required to bridage the gap.

  19. Is the article suggesting reservation on all these modern platforms like youtube and twitter? Is the proposal to be anti-meritocracy for eternity?

  20. in the end merit will triumph. about time we stopped judging people based on their castes. i see arnab goswami, i see a fool. Ravish kumar on the other hand is much better. why diminish their achievements based on their caste or religion? The author needs to grow up and stop trying to impinge on the viewer/reader’s right to choose what they want. Not everything is an elaborate scheme to suppress and oppress the deprived classes.

  21. Unfortunately the ‘oppressed classes’ have fought for and achieved their own marginalization. Merely asking for recognition solely based on equal representation in every sphere, cannot be justified. It needs to be earned. A person will follow a writer, columnist, actor, comedian, or any other social media personality, if the person puts forth good content. Then, he/she will be followed irrespective of caste, religion, etc. However, the reserved classes have got into a situation where they do not believe they can compete with anyone solely based on the merits of their work. They always need the crutches of reservation. However, it is a race out there in the world once one looks beyond government jobs, which are limited and dwindling in number every day. And one must remember – one cannot win a race unless one is willing to let go of the crutches. The choice rests with the so called ‘backward’ castes.

  22. You are seriously shameless. Who is stopping anyone to increase their followers base. Are they creating influence through any unscrupulous method. People follow whom they want to, it is simple, clear and democratic. But media houses like this which after incidence of a crime, say rape or murder, comes up with first question of which caste rather than anything else will make this draconian system run for hundred of years. Shame on you. Shameless propagandist. Get into any job atleast to do something meaningful in life, although chances of getting recruitment is very bleak as you have only propaganda on your resume to show which is very less credited outside media industry.

  23. What kind of idiotic journalism is this…Its like saying ” A person has failed an exam because of his caste”… He has failed because he is not good at that subject..period!!!!

  24. Where is this kind of an article coming from? Well, I think its coming from glasses- caste glasses that see caste discrimination in everything- even when its not present. As far as I am aware, and I do this personally too- people follow influential personalities on social media platforms who bring good content for people to watch, WITHOUT being bothered to check which caste or community they belong to. The internet is available to everyone, so are smartphones and other devices. If persons from the lower castes bring in good content for people to watch, I am sure their following and influence can rise as well. And its a humble request to ThePrint, please stop reporting everything from a communal or a casteiest view- and creating artificial insecuriy among certain sections of the society, when there is no reason to be insecure. Please do that if you can. Also, stop blaming the upper castes for each and everything- yes, there was a time when they misused their powers, but if you are going to blame them for a thing like having more social media influence, then, well, you should re-think where your journalism is headed. It only means one thing- you either have a specific agenda behind writing these articles, or you view India not as consisting of Indians, but of upper caste and lower caste people- am I right or am I right?


    Is being a Brahmin good or bad in India?

    This is what Adhoot Mohite, B.Tech ( civil engineering) recently wrote :

    I’m not a Brahmin, I’m a Maratha but I think I can give answer based on my observations of last few years.

    Being a Brahmin in today’s India is like being a Jew in 1930s Germany.

    Jews were a very small percentage of Germany’s population, and were blamed for all problems of the german society.

    Today in India same thing is happening. Brahmins are being made scapegoat for all problems of society, despite being a very small percentage of the population.

    Brahmins are not even rich or powerful. Most of them are middle class like everybody else and many are poor priests who earn living by religious ceremonies like marriage. Brahmins do not have any reservations nor they are given any special subsidies by government. Yet they are blamed for everything.

    Communists, Islamic radicals and all anti-Hindu groups of are constantly bashing and hating Brahmins. They are being made scapegoats for everything like the jews were made in germany.

    Adi Shankaracharya, A brahmin from Kerala, revived the Vedic religion with his sheer will, intelligence and debating power. It was the Brahmins who preserved and saved the knowledge of Vedas, Upnishads, Brahma Sutras, Bhagvad Gita through a 1000 year slavery of Islamic invaders and British colonialists. It was the Brahmins who kept (and are still keeping) the Sanskrit language alive. The person who spread the Maratha empire to it’s largest size and destroyed the Mughal empire was a Brahmin (Bajirao Peshwa).

    Brahmins are the links that are connecting us to the ancient Vedic civilization. Without Brahmins, the Vedic civilization would have died out like the Persian, Greek, Egyptian, Roman and many other dead civilizations. Hindus of all castes fought to save our religion, but Brahmins were the ones who saved the core texts and traditions of Vedic Dharm.

    There is a saying in english “To kill a snake, cut it’s head off.” Similarly, to kill Hindu religion, destroy all Brahmins.

    The anti-Hindu forces in India know this and that is why they are going after Brahmins like Nazis went after Jews in the 40s.

    A lot of people are bringing up that low castes have been mistreated by Brahmins in the past. That’s true and I oppose caste discrimination. But everyone ignores that all Hindus, Buddhists, Jains have been treated worse by Islamic rulers. Brahmins never led genocidal campaigns against anyone like the Islamic invaders did.

    Brahmins were only powerful in the early Vedic period 2500 years ago. After birth of Buddhism in 500 BC, Indians rejected the authority of Brahmins and slowly converted to Buddhism. Buddhism was majority religion for a long time until 8th century when Shankaracharya revived the Vedic religion. Only 200 years after that the Islamic invasions started and india bacame a colony of Islamic rulers. After end of Mughal empire, the British colonialists quickly took over all the power.

    Brahmins have not been in position of power for last 1000 years in India. All political, economical and administrative power was consolidated in the hands of Islamic emperors and then the British. Most of the poverty and inequality in today’s India is result of colonialism and capitalism. Why Brahmins are blamed for the conditions created by Foreign invaders and colonialists?…..

    The current generation Brahmins are least bothered about what others feel about Brahmins since they mind their own business. They have become successful worldwide sans India. They have even earned a niche in Massachusetts. The Brahmins of Boston is a popular adage to address the upper echelons. They are very successful entrepreneurs. They are in key positions in numerous parastatals and innumerable MNCs.The new gen Brahmins migrate to the various corners of the world and carve their own niche in their field of expertise.

    Keep going guys

    • I totally agree with you I think we must research more on this subjects and bring the real truth of our country before today’s generation, otherwise this culture will also extinct.

    • Brahmin is not by birth but earned over the ages with knowledge and wisdom.

      Societal practices followed over the years have led to current socio economic situation where a docotors kids will be doctor, politician will be politician, actor will be actor and so on.You get the picture.

      Blending societal complexities and shortcoming and calling it religious one is dishonest and abject loss of History, context and objectivity.

      Comparing certain caste to Jews is so wrong at so many levels. This shows clear disregard for extreme human suffering when enjoying the fruits of privilege.

  26. Looks like biased article. Shame on this article trying to divide people of caste basis. Also republic or Arnab is not featured in this

  27. The author of the article appears to be a myopic. While viewing the TV Programs, no body is bothered about the caste of the presenter but only look for the quality of the content. It’s a fact that majority of the viewers never know about the caste of the journalists unless brought to the notice of the public by disgruntled elements who want to thrive by using imaginary caste oppression. It’s high time such myopic and disgruntled elements realize that merit always counts, but not the caste.

  28. Habermasian ideal has been achieved with free internet. I subscribe to all the Bheem-Meem channels and watch them. So what is the problem ? It is simply that the communal and caste narrative does not work. The Hanood (caste) and Yahood (business) formula is idiotic and does not explain the complexities of modern Elite conflicts. These journos like Mondol want to use their caste status for special benefits even in journalism once they fail to get govt jobs. It is sad that instead of working to expose their own Bheem Meem elites they are trying to consolidate them by pushing their agendas.

  29. Habermasian ideal has been achieved with free internet. I subscribe to all the Bheem-Meem channels and watch them. So what is the problem ? It is simply that the communal and caste narrative does not work. The Hanood (caste) and Yahood (business) formula is idiotic and does not explain the complexities of modern Elite conflicts. These journos like Mondol want to use their caste status for special benefits even in journalism once they fail to get govt jobs. It is sad that instead of working to expose their own Bheem Meem elites they are trying to consolidate them by pushing their political agendas.

  30. The author belongs to SC caste himself and due to lack of real news, is promoting and generating casteism in media.

  31. It is often claimed that approximately 80% of Indian population comprises backward classes SC/ST/OBC and only 3% of population comprises of bramhins. These 3% bramhins somehow dominates all jobs, education and now as per the author social media. Can the author introspect why 80% population is following the so called privileged 3% on social media? Nobody is forcing them. What stops capable people from the very large 80% population of backward classes in carving a niche for themselves? As an avid reader, I can assert that I have never even thought about the caste of the author. In fact many times I may not even look up the author’s name. I only look at the content. Unfortunately in the name of promoting the backward classes and trying to desperately seek equal representation, we have made this very large percentage (80%) of the population handicapped. They have been brainwashed to believe that they cannot progress unless they get the crutches of reservation. In fact reservation is the greatest handicap (and not a support) to this huge population. It is easy to blame every failure to succeed on caste oppression and the person does not actually have to introspect whether they are doing a good job in the first place. Ironically, for those who are actually good at their job, it is presumed that they have moved forward only due to reservation and their achievements are undermined. Instead of crying foul every time, the day these caste will learn to stand up and view every other person as nothing more than a competitor, that is the day India will progess. Please remember, to win the race, you have to be brave enough to let go of the crutches. Annihilation of caste will not come from outside. It will come from within – when the backward castes believe they are equal to and even better than the so called forward castes.

  32. This has a lot to do with language medium too. Twitter complements short, snappy English commentary and most Dalits don’t have access or practice (via family, friends, peer group) to engage in fluent English communication. YouTube has better dalit spaces and quality ones too since language isn’t a barrier there.

  33. Social media…specifically Twitter seemed like a great platform but was ruined by Personal Troll Armies(needs only 40 -50 boys😄) .

    Two worst dimwits are Dilip Mandal & that Meena Eena Deena…

    Kuch bhi top trend karvate hain…kuch bhi

  34. He ain’t a journo.
    He ain’t a politician.
    He ain’t prominent.
    Only shot to fame is an IT cell of 50 boys that can trend bullshit. But still had to BEG for BLUE Tick.

    Hey, @theprint…can i write for you?

  35. Dumb author.. dumb journalism .. , internet is free stupid .. they don’t ask your caste before showing search results or playing a video clip .. , creating a victim culture in every dimension , ur only hurting the real victims …. Rot in hell author

  36. I guess you agree that the govt should offer a dedicated channel for only backward & minority journalists, or at least with 50% reservation for them.

    This would at least act like a placebo effect for those who feel left out during their initial days, till they are able to independently make it on their own.

    But then, this option already exists at govt universities & multiple govt media channels – it’s another matter about their popularity – that being the janata’s choice.

    However, the Print & NDTV are refreshingly different and seem to have offered space to the classes you have referred to, with merit-based selection.

    Let’s look at the positives & move on. As far as prejudice at work, this will never go fully – if there is no caste – then there will be choices based on class, region, belief, language & religion. It’s the same all over the world.

    At the end of the day, all of us need to make choices based on our convictions, positioning & merit.

    Perhaps this is your choice – to position yourself in highlighting caste based issues in society.

  37. Even the title of the post is stupid. The insights have flaws at so many places, the interpretations from the data presented is almost entirely illogical.

  38. Social media is completely influenced by market forces, the main reason for whatever you said is big investment in social media marketing by elite channel and their established troll army, just look it here I had hardly seen any comment on any print article but whenever Dilip Mondal write anything he receive a lot comments trying to humiliate him for his caste and reservation etc. You will face same thing if you write any thing for backwards community cause in any social media, a lot of fake account will comments on it in order to humiliate you personally. Social media is all about investment and persistence if you can make huge investment to advertise urself and maintain an IT cell to promote any specific thing you are going to win. However, I am not completely agree with what you said a lot of bahujan media channel is doing really great and they also have million of followers

  39. Like others have mentioned, simple since there is no reservation quote only the best get featured and are followed. Dilip Mandal’s studies are showing a mirror to his face. Dilip should know that Input – Output.

  40. The author is obsessed with caste. These are the type of journalist who perpetuate casteism. Everything is viewedthru it. If there is anything holding a dalit back it is another dalit like Dilip Mandal. He has no solutions.

  41. NDTV India anchor and journalist Ravish Kumar has a huge fan following. an exception. but always at the receiving end from the elites from among the media fraternity . mostly based on established prejudices . from the savarna press.

    • Ravish kumar full name is pandey a brahmin. Check online. This shows your knowledge
      social media respects talent not caste. Anyone can be successful there. Even i can

  42. Those who are followed has quality stuff in them it is not on caste basis, those who give quality stuff will be followed it is not based on caste. Don’t bring in caste system into all areas. The Population of India is not worried about person from which caste presents the programme they look for quality of the programme.

  43. Author seems to have an agenda.

    Just because you are not followed on social media doesn’t mean influencers are not having impact.

    Author is correlating the public exposure as a measure of success.

    However if had seen KBC there were too many stories of influencers from all strata of sanatan society making a positive contribution to bharat.

    Regarding Indian arabs, they are fundamentalist, they follow literally what their books says. Open and liberal society is anathema to them and equivalent to blasphemy.

    So next time when writing an article stop with divisive cabal and focus on your contribution to bharat.

  44. Thank you for giving communal angle to everything and dropping the level of journalism. Why compare everything on basis of caste and religion? Why not capabilities?

  45. For a seasoned journalist, this man seems a permanent whiner. Unlike government jobs, there is no reservation in Internet, social media or journalism. One is forced to learn the skills. Who has stopped Dalits and OBCs from creating their own space in the social media? This is what happens when too much hand holding is done. The person forgets what is “struggle for existence”. I recall that as a young boy, I attended a government run Samskrit Pathashala. Since the Pandits were paid by the State Government, they had to teach whosoever joined the class. I had some christian fellow students, but not one person from other Hindu castes except Lingayats. If there is no willingness to learn, why blame others of hegemony? A case of sour grapes.

    • Your comment looks like it is been written with the mindset to spread hatred against lower casts
      People like you are the reason that cast discrimination exists at the first place

  46. A simple explanation: Customers will go where the best products with reasonable prices are. Where there is no reservation or quota, the principle of best selection will apply. May be, the upper caste journalists offer a better service and therefore, create larger audience/followers’ base. In North America, Fareed Zakaria is very popular with his weekly program on CNN, no one is interested in knowing his Muslim or Indian background, in the countries of the Whites and Christians. In India too, in grand old time, no one asked what was the caste of leading journalists like Kuldip Nayar, Sham Lal, Giri Lal Jain or Arun Shourie. It seems to be the problem of people like the author of this article that every thing in India must be looked upon through the caste lens. Literacy and higher professional education among the Muslims, Dalits and OBCs have yet to expand in India in order to take notice of brilliant journalists among them. But, once they become highly accomplished in their field, why will caste consideration compel them to go for people for their own caste. They can go for the best in business, and they may not be from the Subaltern journalists the author talks about.

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