One of the biggest tragedies of independent India has been monopolisation of the narrative space by subscribers of one political ideology – starting from left of the Centre all the way to the extreme – communism and Marxism. While academia can be credited with providing the intellectual heft and popular media such as movies for subtly pushing the agenda, it is the news media which has been most influential for the simple reason that it reached more people than academics did (via radio, papers and finally tv) and was taken seriously unlike popular media.
This monopoly over narrative broke in the last decade as social media rose as an alternative to the mainstream media whose leading lights got exposed for what they were – shallow, partisan elites with disdain for India’s majority, their culture and their values.
The ones flooding the media and challenging the old order couldn’t have been more different. They were ordinary citizens with zero political access, graduated fresh from middle classes, holding the civilisational ethos of this land in high regard and nationalistic to a fault. One couldn’t have hoped for a more suited group of individuals to challenge the ‘manipulated media’.
Though well intentioned and highly motivated, these nationalistic and dharmic forces (social media influencers, youtubers, news portals, etc) have been making disunited attempts to challenge the narratives set by the ‘ left-liberal’ media. These new generation media organisations are unable to achieve the desired results for they suffer from lack of a support system that the other side is well-armed with.
SMaRT is an initiative to fill this gap. SMaRT is not an industry association nor does it attempt to influence editorial policies of any of its members. SMaRT aims to nurture and support its members through various initiatives that can help improve the quality of their content, widen its reach and help them achieve financial sustainability. These support initiatives include research grants, translation services, legal support, multimedia facilities for generating high quality content, start-up funding, advertisement support and more.
SMaRT was launched on Dusherra (i.e.) 25th October 2020 and within these 7 months, it has reached a key milestone of 60 members, with a combined reach of 80 million+ hits/views/impressions every month.
SMaRT looks forward to encourage more nationalist and dharmic media members to join this initiative to amplify its voice to a much wider audience through this synergistic alliance.
The esteemed members of SMaRT are:
AKTK- Aaj ka Taza Khabar
Centre for Indic studies
History of things
Sab lok tantra
Stories of Bengali Hindus
The daily Switch
The Dharma Dispatch
World Hindu News
(*Members list in Alphabetical order)
Monopolies are bad. They lead to lethargy, incompetence, inefficiency and ultimately bankruptcy. That’s what has happened in India’s media space as well. It’s time to change that.
The Website is launched on June 5th 2021 by Shri. (Dr.). Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. He is also the President of Indian Council for Cultural relations; Founding Director General and Vice president of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini.