Communication in India witnessed a new dimension added to its ‘PNT, STD and ISD’ image connections with the arrival of mobile phones. At the outset, individuals had to pay as much as 24 rupees to receive calls on their phones.
But then, with the passage of time, things began to change and with regulations, rules, governing bodies and laws in place, things started looking more systematic!
Providing electricity, clean drinking water and telephone connections has been an integral part of every planning commission’s report in India. And over the years, the populace has reconciled with the crawling progress towards these aspects(given the other commitments of the government!)
Life after Mobile phones
Against this backdrop arrived mobile and cellular phones in the 90s, which meant amelioration of the majority in the years to come. And all this with the Government playing an ancillary role. This was something that worked in the government’s favor as well as the majority of the countrymen.
Where the ‘promised telephone lines’ of the government could not reach (as in the far-flung areas), which even today calls for a considerable amount of time, effort and investment, the cellular / mobile revolution transcended such impediments. And in particular, the GSM phones to start things off. Although in the present scenario, CDMA networks are stepping on the heat and linking the rural parts of India with the same steadfastness!
Offshoots of the mobile revolution
With the mobile revolution’s booming growth of 47 % in the last couple of years, this device has transcended the ambit of mere two-way communication. It has become part of a larger picture in which masses have begun to have a say in the day-to-day affairs of life which affects them.
The television industry seized the initiative and brought out the voice of the masses to the fore using cellular phones and telephones, but the majority were cellular. I would like to place this mobile revolution against the primitive form of feedback methods in TV shows using letters and postcards. Today the same process has transformed and has acquired a more dynamic look.
SMS, a product of the cellular revolution, has emerged as a potent medium to mobilize the masses. The classic example in this regard is the reopening of criminal cases of Priyadarshini Mattoo and Jessica Lall, where the guilty were roaming Scott free. A wave of furore swept the nation, thanks to Television acting as an amalgam in crystallizing the impact generated by mass SMS. Yesterday, a prime accused in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case was sentenced to death.
Viewers and SMS
What SMS and cellular telephony have done is empower the viewers and transform them from being merely passive receivers of content to the mouthpiece of society! The greatest asset of this mode of telephone communication is the SPEED, with which the opinion and verdict of the masses get registered and eventually reflected in the socio-political decisions concerning the country.
This is just one facet of the mobile revolution which has been tapped. With the internet boom, the next generation of media entertainment, search services, yellow pages, and other such utilities, consumer-friendly services would be delivered, all at the press of a button- On your mobile devices( not your television sets!)
So watch out.