In accordance to the “I Inspire 2019” event, we had conducted a tweet chat discussing about how the year 2018 has been a year of change and how it influenced new changes and new outcomes. For this tweet chat, we had invited three guests to share their thoughts and opinions based on the topic discussing about.
Our first guest was Nida Hasan, Country director, Change.org, Our second guest was Aparna Vedapuri Singh, Founder and Chief Editor, Women’s Web and our final guest was Zainab Patel, Transgender activist and National Manager of the health and human rights UNDP of India. All of them shared their thoughts and opinions on how 2018 was a year of change.
Social media, a medium for raising voice against the unjust
The tweet chat started by discussion about the first topic which is the role of social media in achieving justice and how it is providing a platform for voicing our rights and voices. Everyone shared their thoughts and opinions which mostly were about campaigns and public addressing of opinions.
Zainab Patel shared – “Activists the world over are using the internet and digital tools to build their community, connect with other similar-minded people outside their physical surroundings as well as lobby, raise funds and organise events.”
Aparna Vedapuri Singh shared – “Social platforms did raise awareness and build public opinion around social issues; IMO, however, more than justice (which is still hard to reach in India), it is a sense of solidarity and feeling heard that most platforms have offered survivors.”
Nida Hasan shared – “@shilpajn supported a campaign to connect a local village which was cut off from the mainland during #KeralaFloods. The #SheCreatesChange community came together to negotiate with authorities & 2 days later, the bridge was being built”
Ruchi Angrish shared -“We have seen the amazing way our Indians settled outside India can catch the attention of our Minister of External Affairs @SushmaSwaraj ,just by sending a tweet and requesting for help. N our trailblazing Sushma ji is always prompt to help out Indians abroad.”
Michelle Frank shared -“Social media for most part allows an equal platform for most people to voice their opinion. The #MeToo movement is an exceptional example of how many women achieved justice after staying silent for so many years.”
Rise of Civil society movements and its result in 2018
The next discussion was about the progression of the civil society movements and how did it play a major role in everyone’s lives in 2018. Everyone shared their opinions and thoughts on this discussion and agreed upon the fact that civil society movements brought a good change in 2018.
Zainab Patel shared -“Definitely, with court judgements on the rights to privacy, reading down of Sec 377 IPC, metoo movement But also seen some of the worst crackdown on the civil society moments.”
Nida Hasan shared -“I believe so. Last year, we witnessed many inspiring wins on our platform @insia_dariwala’s petition got the Indian Govt to address the problem of male child sexual abuse for the first time.”
Moonchild shared -“The #MeToo movement was definitely one that brought about a wave of awareness about what is portrayed in movies/songs and how we need to have more responsible content.”
Sarika Bhattacharyya shared-“We saw some fights seeing some light – but we also see infringing of basic privacy rights & also crackdown on media& diverse opinions which needs to stop. Dissent is a huge part of democracy”
Measures to remove unjust laws and practices
The next discussion was about the steps and measures needed for abolishing unjust laws and practices that hinders the progression of our nation. Everyone shared their ways and options which were mostly about raising voices against unjust laws and practices and being against objectification.
Zainab Patel shared -“I believe very strongly, Whether economically, politically or socially, women are not passive victims of abuse, but agents of change whose empowerment and liberation will free our societies from the psychological shackles of oppression.”
Nida Hasan shared -“When we see a problem, be it a broken down public toilet or wheelchair access at movie theatre – we can can choose to act, instead of just looking away. Petitions started on @ChangeOrg_India are by ordinary individuals who decided to take action & change their world for better.”
Michelle Frank shared -“Take about it openly. Any change comes from talking about injustice so that we an have access to channels through which we can receive assistance. Also championing for causes we believe in is vital. Signing a petition is a simple example of this.”
Devikaa Mathur shared -“Speaking openly about the negative aspects of such laws and practices. Wheather you can do something or not but atleast you can speak and criticize it in the circle you move after all we dwell in a democratic country. “
Social and cultural barriers of complete inclusion.
The next discussion was about how society and culture form barriers to prevent full inclusion and how it doesn’t help in progressing to a inclusive nation. Everyone shared their thoughts and opinions about how it is blocking the nations development to a fully inclusive nation.
Zainab Patel shared -“The stereotypes fostered by sec 377 have an impact on how other individuals and non-state institutions treat the community. While this behaviour is not sanctioned by law, the existence of the provision nonetheless facilitates it by perpetuating homophobic attitudes.”
Ruchi Angrish shared -“Patriarchal mindsets, stereotypes are preventing complete inclusion. We need to raise awareness and and educate everyone towards LGBT Inclusion whether it is in Companies, or at home, everyone should accept and respect of everyone’s equal rights.”
Devikaa Mathur shared -“It is funny how few men will jump and start running away if they see a gay.
Man c’mon! If all the straight females in this world are not falling for you even all gay men won’t. I don’t know how few men assume that this guy is gay he will be attracted towards me let us run away.”
Michelle Frank shared -“Religion is one. Another is tradition where marriages and customs differ for men and women and don’t contain the likelihood of a same sex couple. Finally it is mindsets. People still associate anything outside a “norm” as wrong or unclean. This needs to change.”
Building an inclusive society
The final discussion was about how people can voice the problems faced and moving forward to build an inclusive society and further developing the nation. Everyone shared their thoughts and opinions which were mostly based on using social media platforms and sharing content.
Zainab Patel shared -” Leadership needs to be constantly egged and encouraged to consistently speak about the importance of inclusion and diversity, hoping that a trickle-down effect will inspire every person in the connect.”
Ruchi Angrish shared -” We all need to join hands together to address these challenges. Initiate conversations, workshops, use Social media to educate people to do away with age old patriarchalmindsets . Walk the talk. Leaders should take baton of change in their hands”
Michelle Frank shared -“Lead by example. Often people who stand up for a cause socially still have stereotype and judgement in their actions. It is a personal decision to be more inclusive. Be a source of assistance and sometimes just a focal point for inclusive dialogue. “
The Twitter chat session ended with lots of ideas and thoughts shared about how 2018 was a year of growth and change and succession and ideas were shared on how to make it even better in the year 2019.