Like every other social asset, media is a neutral, double-edged sword with equal opportunities of it being used or misused. In the ideal world, media should present the combined opinion of the masses as a unified, single and loud voice, and authorities should give heed to them. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, media is busy curtailing the basic rights of masses, hiding facts and parading the unimportant. With the epic failure of mass media in recent times, it is important that citizen media takes over. This is precisely the reason Wikileaks is important and must be supported.
Conflicts and friction between individuals and bodies of authority have been consistent through the evolution of human civilization. In most cases, these frictions have been on the grounds of rights and liberties. While mass media has often taken side of authorities, citizen media – historically has been unstoppable. The Internet has empowered citizen media more than any other invention ever did. One would argue that the printing press should top this list. Well, while printing press supported community level distribution, Internet has enabled community level accumulation of information as well.
While blogs, Wikipedia and Twitter are examples of the rise of effective alternate media in the Internet, Wikileaks has the potential to become the vanguard of the people against the conspiracies by governments, by inducing transparency in governance. It is an ingenious attempt towards creating an alternate means of expression based on the ideology of Free Press. The information leaked and published by WikiLeaks are of political, ethical or historic significance which is suppressed either before or after publication. In-fact, WikiLeaks has released more classified intelligence documents than the rest of the world press combined.
Over the past 6 years, Wikileaks has become the nightmare of unethical corporations and governments. In India too, their tremors have been felt. While RTI remains the most successful tool of citizen media in India, Wikileaks has to come second. Remember how the US Embassy Diplomatic cables release gave an insight into the dubiousness of the international relationships between India and the rest of the world? More importantly, the intrusion of the USA in Indian policy making became significantly evident with these cables. Numerous worrisome incidents came to light – the Cash-for-Votes scandal, US intervention in the central cabinet reshuffle, role of ISI in the terror plots – all were well substantiated with the availability of the India cables. The India cables made it evident that US is stripping third world nations off their sovereignty in the name of imposing democracy.
With almost every government and corporation of the world now as its enemy, and with numerous fatal attacks on their volunteers, Wikileaks still lives and grows. With thousands of mirror sites, Wikileaks can not and will not go offline. It is important that we support and cherish the revolution a few techies and sane minded could bring about.