Words, and ideas, are nomads. It is in their nature to travel, to transmit their seeds. They are messy, unpredictable, borderless gypsies—but very organic and vital for the exact same reason. In fact, they define humanity. Once that’s granted, you can make sense of some unprecedented effects of human communication we witnessed recently. And the questions that likely sprang to your mind. A Baghpat farmer’s desire to get an assured MSP for his sugarcane is as dusty and local an issue as you can think of. How does that come to play on the Broadway of global politics? Maybe you even felt a touch of indignation when names from a remote galaxy—pop star Rihanna, young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, the newly minted US veep’s niece Meena Harris, even adult actress Mia Khalifa—rained in on India’s parade. Speaking of parades, the scenes of January 26 are still fresh in our minds. Did you feel all that to be, cumulatively, somewhat destabilising? Is there really some grand planetary design against a rising India? Exactly who and what are part of this shifting, ominous coalition of locusts? Where do they come from? Just what is going on?
The answer is simple. It can be said in two words: social media.