The age of "iron curtain" is over and the government needs to open up to provide swift and accurate information to the people, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore today said while asking officials to take to social media aggressively.
"We need to open up. Typically, governments have been with iron curtains all around. But today time is changing, so we first need to change our mindset," Rathore said as he inaugurated a workshop for government officials on how to use Facebook more effectively for communication.
Addressing Press Information Bureau (PIB) officials who look after government's communication outreach, Rathore said that the process of how information is shared from decision makers to disseminators needs to get faster and social media can play a key role as it not only shapes debates on TV but also public opinion.
"You cannot hide information in today's world. You have to share that information. The idea is to send the right kind of content that people can engage with," he said.
Pointing out that often incorrect information regarding ministries and government departments goes on social media, Rathore said that on such occasions the correct facts should be provided.
"That is the time you could get to the social media and correct that information. People are hungry for information," Rathore said.
A lot of people dismiss social media, saying the debate going on there is "junk", he said but emphasised that this very debate is even shaping what is happening on television or in the print media.
"It is shaping your mind when you sit on the dining table during dinner time and do your discussions," he added.
He said that 85 per cent of central ministers are on facebook and 80 per cent ministries already have verified accounts. He, however, emphasised that even this figure needs to be improved.
Apparently referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is active on social media, Rathore said that the coach has shown the way and it is now for the players to act.
Rathore said that the Indian PM could soon be the most liked leader on social media globally.
On the sidelines of the event, Rathore who is an Olympic medallist himself, lauded the performance of shuttler P V Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik in Rio Olympics.
He said the government had even released an advertisement in this regard.
He also hoped that wrestler Narsingh Yadav would also get relief in the doping issue.