Interview with brainchild of #RajonuhenRaja campaign Mr. Rudra Prasanna Rath

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Q-1 Recently your #RajoNuhenRaja was a path-breaking social media movement. Please share with us your experience of starting this campaign and how was it received and what achievements it had ?
ANs: Certainly it’s a path breaking social media movement.. You can say it is one of the largest ever campaign in Odisha. This campaign started in the second week of May when I along with few of my friends decided to protest in a unique manner by opposing the way Rajo is written in corporate advertisements. I picketed before a corporate house hoarding and later many people joined. This is became large as many celebrities, common people from different districts, and social class joined. They call all forward to join this movement to discard the word Rajo.
Many people participated. But the beauty of the campaign is it was coordinated by handful people sitting at different places of the state. Few moved in field to mobilise people and talked about it. We even have developed four t shirts which can be wore and more discussion on the subject can be made. Every day we did something to get people engaged with this movement.
Q-2 In the protests related to language and nationality business houses are often the soft target. Your #RajonuhenRaja Campaign did just them .it also targeted the business houses ?
Ans:- I beg to differ from you. The business class was never targeted. We rather met them, counseled them, shared our views . In some cases we also mobilized them by writing e mails etc. In most cases, they agreed to change. They also told us that they don’t have much control over the advertisement matter as it is done by Kolkata based advertisement agencies. They also invited us to see the advertisement being changed. Hence we have not targeted any one. We have just counseled them and made them a critical partner in the change process.
Q-5 Why do we see advertisements with words like Rajo and Pujo? Who actually does this? What is your observation?
Ans:- most of the advertisements that are published in Odisha are prepared at Kolkata. The Bengali speaking guys who does copy write, not have adequate experience on the way we pronounce our language and festivals. They even don’t care to consult an Odia speaking or writing fellow. Our business houses also don’t feel it necessary to cross check again before publishing it. Hence, such mistakes continue. As Odias donot protest much on these issue, the guys simply move on with these faulty advertisements
Q-3 Holding a placard, taking a pic and uploading in social media timeline is just a two minute job. Is this all about social media Campaign #rajonuhanraja ?
Ans: No, there are other elements too. The most visible part of this campaign is posting with a placard pic. But there are other elements too. Like calling for participation of celebrities, requesting column writers to write columns on the campaign as well as giving the campaign a sustained media coverage this all together formed the part of the campaign. But as pictures of people with placards were stronger than all of this, hence people bought that idea only. But other parts also contributed to the success of this campaign.
Q-4 Social Media is increasingly becoming a potent platform for intellectual and activist engagements. This is equally a place for trolls. How best can one use this for the social and behavioural changes?
Ans:- Wherever there is good, the bad also does co-exists. So troll will always be there as people are free to develop their own perception around an issue. The campaign #RajonuhenRaja also draw trolls and we are happy about it. People thought about the issue, talk about it and debated in social forums. That’s a big achievement for a campaign where many did not know each other but all stood for a single cause. Now, coming to the behavior change part, social media cannot alone bring behvaiour change until unless we tag it with some on ground action. Take this campaign #RajonuhenRaja campaign. Even before we started this campaign in full fledged manner, people wrote about it a line or two in social media, tweeted about it , yet they failed to bring any noticeable change. Only tweeting in social media will not help until unless there is someone with some action plan at ground
Q-6 Many Celebrities also joined this campaign ? Whats your take on that ?
Ans:- I am thankful to all of them. Sabir Bux, Akhanda, Valena Valentina, Alok Mangaraj, Jaffer Iqbal. Manas sahoo participated and mobilized more and more people for this campaign. Without them, the campaign would not have been a large success. They became the catalyst and mobiliser for the campaign. At the same time the campaign gave lot of respect to the people who participated. Every body who participated felt like a winner and champion at the moment a change is noticed in news paper or advertisement.

Q7. As # Rajonuhan Campaign ended this year, what is the outcome, how do you perceive the campaign in coming year. Will it sustain next year too ?
Ans:- This year campaign has ended and more than thousand participated in the campaign. The videos related to the campaign got viewed, shared, liked and people gave their opinion on it. Almost every one involved in the campaign felt happy and took a lot of pride being a part of it. Major Corporate houses like Kalamandir Rayal, Central Bhubaneswar, Mehers, PC Chandra Jwellery Baazaar Kolkata listened to our request. We got their paper advertisement changed, some hoarding were also changed. Most of the companies also changed the spelling of Rajo to Raja in their web content. But there is no stopping for the team. We will continue it following more innovative approach. We will start the campaign little earlier and will ensure that more and more corporate houses are informed before hand so that they donot write rajo again in their hoardings and posters.

 

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