Thursday, April 06, 2006

::സാംസ്കാരികം:: - Indian bloggers shaping their own identity

ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ബ്ലോഗുകളെ കുറിച്ച് ഐ.ഏ.എന്‍.എസ് തയാറാക്കിയ വാര്‍ത്ത.

Indian bloggers shaping their own identity
By Frederick Noronha, Indo-Asian News Service

Bangalore, April 3 (IANS) Top advertising gurus do it. So do students. The word 'blog' has yet to be translated into any Indian language, but this unusual tool for cyber-communication is increasingly debating issues ignored by the mainstream media to shape an identity for itself.

Wikipedia, the volunteer-crafted cyber encyclopaedia, says: 'A blog...allows for easy creation of new pages...Automated templates take care of adding the article to the home page, creating the new full article page, and adding the article to the appropriate date-or category-based archive.'

Blogs aren't just flippant, as Rajesh Jain's weblog on emerging technologies shows - Prof Sadagopan has a weblog of 'ideas, trends and the cyberworld' at Dina Mehta's blog is widely watched too at

Said Pakistan's Internet magazine SPIDER recently: 'With desi (South Asian) writers becoming an increasing pervasive presence in the literary world, it's not particularly shocking to find online communities composed almost exclusively of south Asian authors and bloggers.'

This Karachi-published journal pointed to examples like, and as examples, calling the last a 'clever pun on the historical Sepoy Mutiny that has taken off in the blogosphere'.

'Blogging heralds a new freedom of expression...,' comments Computer Society of India's chief editor Gopal TV, whose otherwise staid and academic journal came out with a special issue on blogs this February.

Neha Viswanathan, London-based South Asia editor of the US-based blog-watch centre, told IANS: 'India-based blogs have been around for some time. But the notion of Indian blogosphere by itself is a new one.'

She points to recent aggregators and sites like DesiPundit helping Indian blogosphere 'shape an identity for itself'.

Vishwanathan sees Indian blogs facing 'rank-competitiveness and high level of spite' besides being insular, thus disassociating itself from the rest of South Asia. On the plus side, she sees blogs emerging from smaller cities and 'languages other than English'.

Of course, one piece in the jigsaw is to get blogs working in Indian languages. There are just a handful now. 2006 held a contest for the best 'desi' blogs. Voted the IndiBlog of the year by some 892 netizens was Mumbai journo Amit Varma's 'India Uncut'.

Other winners were Mumbai-based Tehelka journalist Sonia Faleiro (best topical IndiBlog), Jabberwock by Delhi-based journo Jai Arjun (best humanities IndiBlog), and The Scientific Indian by Selvakumar (best science/technology IndiBlog).

Winners included quaint but popular-in-cyberspace names like Digital Inspiration, Michael Parekh on IT, DesiPundit, Mall Road by Shivam Vij, Megha, Meenakshi Agarwal's food blog Hooked on Heat, ShutterBug nu, Sight Screen, and Lazy Geek.

On top too were DesiPundit (best group blog), Mumbai Blog (best Indic blog, in Hindi). Runners-up in Indian language solutions were Anup Shukla's Fursatiya, Kanndave Nitya (Kannada), Kalesh's World (Malayalam), Marathi Sahitya (Marathi), Disamaji Kahitari (Marathi), Mugamoodi (Tamil), Amazing Telugus (Telugu), among others.

Other attempts try to plumb the depth, variety and numbers of active Indian blogs in cyberspace., started in times when Indian bloggers were hardly visible and needed to be kept track of, now comments: 'And boy, are they growing! I am not taking in any new submissions as of now...'

Another directory - - lists some 2,270 blogs linked to this country. Most come from Mumbai, Chennai and expats in the US.

Vishwanathan says: 'More people are taking to this medium which offers so much potential for expression. In many ways it is bridging the divide between resident Indians and the diaspora.'

She finds it 'encouraging' to see blogs debating issues ignored by the mainstream media-like gender rights, cultural minorities, syncreticism, sexuality, volunteering.

ഇത് ശ്രദ്ധയില്‍ പെടുത്തിയതിന് ജോയ്ക്ക് പ്രത്യേക നന്ദി!

posted by സ്വാര്‍ത്ഥന്‍ at 8:48 AM


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