11 April 2008

THE FIFTH ESTATE

The term blog came from ‘web log’. It is useless to write here as to what a blog is all about. There are millions of bloggers in today’s world. There is no such matter of human interest that does not have a place in this or that blog. With each day passed the voices of the bloggers are getting stronger. Somebody has recently commented that the bloggers as a whole is the conscience of the world. Blogs have come into existence as historical necessity just as once the fourth estate came into being. As per novelist Jeffery Archer in his work The Fourth Estate –that in May 1789 Louis XVI summoned to Versailles a full meeting of the ‘Estate General’. The First Estate consisted of three hundred clergy. The Second Estate, three hundred nobles. The Third Estate, six hundred commoners. Some years later, after the French Revolution, Edmund Burke, looking up at the Press Gallery of the House of Commons, said, “Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all”. We can not think of modern state without this Fourth estate-Press. But more the civilization progresses, individuality of man urges to exceed his collective wrappings. The Press can not express the voices of individual anger, protest, anguish, love, dream, idea and all that are hidden in collectivity. They lie in the arena of art and literature. But they form a pressure to mould a future collectivity. In an ideal society each individual is listened. Let every individual be a yardstick to measure progress-in my opinion. King liar, Raskolnikov, Paul Bäumer, Romeo or Gafur (Mahesh by Sarat Ch. Chatterjee) will not speak to us as living beings but a blogger is always there beside you to tell his or her stories and you will instantly be in a position to know where lie the lapses in society. Moreover the Press –like the other three estates is inclining to be corrupt everywhere in the world. The press is not outside the corporate industry in modern world. Karl Marx or the communists are right in finding –the vested interest in modern press. It’s not for the people alone and for the truth only –the press speaks out. As a business house the foremost concern of the press is profit. News is commodity to the press. So the living truth that burns only in the mind and heart of an individual blogger becomes the first casualty.

For the sake of perfecting democracy –the bloggers may help to a great extent. And there is no substitute for individual bloggers. Bloggers constitute the Fifth Estate. The role of the Fourth Estate will be better served with the Fifth.

The Press enjoys much freedom in a democratic state. But bloggers are not still safe from governmental attacks. In Singapore a blogger must register his blog with the government. In Liverpool Bloggers are being gagged by the Liverpool City Council. Kathy Sierra- a blogger says, “I’m saddened and angered at this horrible post.

I’ve been part of the blogging community for coming up on six years. I’ve seen fights, name calling and overall rude behavior, but I’ve never seen it get to the point where someone has death threats and dangerous and disgusting things said and posted directly at them. There are things you don’t joke about. Assault against women is one of those things at the top of the list. I’m speechless. I don’t know what else to say, but I had to get this out there.” So there are innumerable instances where bloggers are threatened and are compelled to change their way and also say.

So I think that bloggers all over the world must be united to come under a common umbrella –enforceable by international law. Blogs must be given the equal freedom as it is given in a democracy.

Time has come now so that we should also say in the words of Edmund Burke “Yonder sits the Fifth Estate, and they are more important than them all”