Political Participation in Digital World: Transcending Traditional Political Culture in India

Binoj Jose


Information technology and communication has reshaped the existing socio-economic and political systems. Change in Political Participation is explicit especially among the youth and women in this age of ITC. This is because digital age provides ample opportunities for public response in a lightening pace. Public discourses taking place through website have evolved into not only a medium for personal expression and mutual support but also challenges the old political cultures.   Now citizen is not shear listener but also a speaker who can influence the public decision making. In the Delhi Rape case the public protest through internet has influenced justice Verma Committee which finally led to Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance 2013 providing death penalty in case of rape. Transforming the ways and means of interest aggregation and interest articulation, ICT has strengthened the inputs of political system.  A shift from representative democracy (prone to elitism as observed by Mitchels) to participatory democracy in the digital world is expected by certain scholars.  However, Digital divide arising out of poor accessibility and affordability of hi-tech devices and cyber crimes such as hacking create formidable challenge to digital democracy.  The future and continuing well-being of level of political participation and civic engagement falls on the shoulders of its youngest citizens. Despite the apathy of youth towards the traditional democratic practices and the cultural displacement some scholars view that the young people may become politically socialized with in the media environment. The expected change in the Political spectrum would be visible by the participation of women and youth.  Demographic reports show that by 2020 India would become the youngest country with an average age of 29. As a result of this overwhelming change in the political life a decisive shift in the political culture is certain.

Key words: Digital Democracy, Political Culture, Social Network, Digital divide

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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