Last month, a senior Vatican official said that Catholic bloggers are an extraordinary reality in the life of the church. As if acknowledging the power and reach of the new social media, the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, last week to send his first tweet, announcing the inauguration of a news portal.
Like their counterparts in the West, India’s globe-trotting spiritual gurus have embraced social media to reach their disciples. Followers of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 78 countries can watch and listen to their leader’s satsangs through webcasts. The organisation uses Skype, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter to help devotees interact regularly with their guru. Other groups have been using the Internet and SMS services to send out community news and information on prayer services and yoga sessions. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains the inseparability of technology and spirituality when he says: Technology has made the world into a global village, spirituality has made it into a family.
Freyan Bhathena, editor of the new Parsi newspaper, Parsi Times, said that their small community dispersed across the world relied on social media to stay together. Earlier this week, when their apex community trust, the Bombay Parsi Punchayet held elections to choose a trustee, these new channels of communication were put to maximum use. “When counting of votes were going on, it was surprising to see many community members in Australia and United States following the timeline of events,” said Bhathena.
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