SFI West Bengal State Committee Organised The First Social Media Convention

On 27th November, 2016, the SFI West Bengal State Committee organised the First Social Media Convention.

The Convention was presided by State Committee President, Com. Madhuja Sen Roy and state committee members Com. Shabnam Banerjee and Com. Arunanjan Saha. Com. Anirban Roy Chowdhury and Com. Samya Mondol sat at the minutes committee.

The Convention began with remembering our student martyrs. An obituary was read out in memoriam of the innocent lives lost in the recent Kanpur Rail Accident, those who have died following the decision of demonetising the 500 and 1000 rupees notes by the central government, important CITU leader Com. Dipen Ghosh and Cuban Revolutionary Com. Fidel Castro.

The inaugural address at the Convention was delivered by former student leader, Com. Ritabrata Banerjee. His address to the delegates focussed on the need of circulating information and he gave various anecdotes to point out how this sharing of information has become so easy over the years with improvements in technology and in the context of our ever changing world. To emphasise on the importance of a social media presence, he offered some statistics that he had collected. He said that currently India boasts of 195.6 million users (the highest in the world) and of these 59 million people access Facebook through their smart phones. Indian twitter users form 13% of the total twitter users. In India, 60 million people watch Youtube for more than 48 hours a month and 70% of these people are less than 35 years of age. Thus, in light of this data it is evident that social media offers an untapped resource in terms of propagating information that we would like to send out. With reference to the kind of content that could be shared on the social media platforms, he urged the comrades to identify good resource persons.  Com. Ritabrata went on to point out that most of the online political discussion on our pages or personal profiles is largely limited to people already active in our politics. There are certain guidelines that should be kept in mind prior to a progressive and left minded organisation like ours coming out on a social media platform since as an organisation we have certain disciplines to follow. Comrades involved in social media content creation must not forget that we do not endorse views of an  individual but that our views are those reached on following much deliberation.

Following Com. Ritabrata's address, the convention was addressed by Chhatra Sangram Editor, Com. Saugata Panda. He said that the discussion at the Convention today would help us give direction to plan our work accordingly for atleast the coming year. Further he said that social media content in current times where in our organisation is facing difficult times, will offer inspiration and rejuvenation to some extent.

Com. Arunanjan Saha discussed the salient points that formed the premise of the discussion at the Convention.

The Convention was also addressed by former student leader Com. Ajoy Dasgupta who focussed on explaining to the delegates present, how to create content and utilise the various social media platforms in furthering the activities of our organisation. He said that social media largely is the ambit of the young people and that younger people take more interest in looking up and exchanging information thus, the students' federation of India's initiative to propagate good content via social media platforms is a welcome gesture.

The Convention saw a fruitful discussion of the need and the utility of social media platforms in the work of our organisation,by delegates from all participating districts. They offered new ideas or propositions beyond those that were already part of the discussion today.

The Secretary and President of the SFI West Bengal State Committee, Com. Debojyoti Das and Com. Madhuja Sen Roy addressed the delegates at the very end. In summing up today's discussion, the emphasise remained on the fact that social media is a double edged sword,if utilised appropriately it could work wonders for our regular campaign work but on the other hand regulating and monitoring such a platform is a Herculean task and often there is scope for error. They repeatedly put stress on the fact that those who will take up the social media campaign for the organisation, should exercise caution because a social media platform is usually used for expressing personal opinion but in case of using it for organisational work, we must leave our individual identities out of it. Further as a means of communication, social media ia emerging to be a channel where in the reaction starts coming in almost as soon as an incident takes place, thus, when we use  it as an organisation , we must also try and give out a quick response in cases where our involvement is necessary. They ensured that certain points that repeatedly emerged as points of concern in today's discussion would be taken up at the state level and following concrete decisions by the state, they would be up for discussion again.

27th November, 2016