The internet continues to surprise us with its ability to help people connect and communicate with each other. Not only does it connect individuals to other individuals but it also allows organizations to reach out to their constituencies and communicate with them effectively. Social platforms are increasingly used by politicians and policy makers to interact with their constituencies and with other citizens in general. This is especially true for a large and diverse democratic country like India. On 31st August Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, interacted with people across the world via a live Google+ hangout. This interaction was also broadcast live on the Chief Ministers YouTube channel.
This makes Mr. Modi the first Indian politician to feature on the Google+ Hangout. Google+ Hangout is a feature offered by Google that allows groups of people to video chat. Up to 10 people can chat with each other using this application. The chief minister answered questions from people around the world for almost two hours.
Close to 100,000 people watched this interaction on YouTube and many millions watched it on other media platforms like TV. With this Mr. Modi joins the ranks of leaders like President Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and others to use this platform to connect with their core constituents.
Some of the other organizations in India that have used platforms like YouTube and Google+ include the Indian National Congress, The Ministry of External Affairs (Govt. of India), and other political parties.
This marks a new beginning in the way elected representatives, government functionaries, and policy makers interact with people.