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Towards an active citizenry

by Vandana Anand
Saturday , November 17, 2012 at 12 : 34

A person coming out of a crowd could become a whistleblower, standing against what are disabling forces to raise his/her voice, setting a hard-hitting example for many others to follow.

Yes, we are often confronted with this question. Who is a Citizen Journalist, how different is he or she from an average citizen and why should a citizen be doing a journalist's job? This in my opinion is the difference between a Citizen Journalist (CJ) and a citizen. A citizen who not only enjoys the luxury of his or her rights, but also knows how to bear the responsibilities.   

During the course of filing stories for the Citizen Journalist show, I have met a number of CJs. People with lot of vigour, a strong will power, empathy and a passion to bring about positive changes in the society we live in.....

A taxi driver, an aam admi, just a cog in the wheel, a small part of the society raises the bar for humanity by helping out road accident victims which has become a day to day feature in our society. Similarly, a cancer survivor who knows the meaning of life after fighting for each breath and ultimately becomes a guiding light for the entire society. A young student speaks out about the problems faced by her in commuting daily due to the absence of streetlights and works towards changing that. Instances like these have been many and I salute the zeal with which CJs work not only to put forth their problems but more importantly to try to solve them.

Citizens and citizenship as a concept are undergoing a change. More is demanded today from an average citizen. They can no longer just pay the taxes and believe that the world will change. The need for an active, enlightened citizen is more than ever. Many civil society movements with all their faults and inadequacies are pointing to one fact the citizens' participation, not just in the political process but also in the process of change. The methods are different but the citizen journalist show also perhaps works towards that direction of an enlightened citizen who doesn't wait for things to change. And that change however small is a change and inspiring.

Age is no bar to become a Citizen Journalist. Recently, I got an opportunity to work with two minor citizens. Sagar and Lavanya becoming exemplary citizens at this tender age for the society by their very deeds.

Every citizen has a special reason to become a CJ wherein they have gone through such difficult situations that becomes a turning point in their life and which ignites them to walk that extra mile for the society.

I hope to meet many more enlightened citizens, true path-makers in the coming days who in their own special ways can help people learn the art of true living i.e living for others. In my view, a person who understands the essence of citizenship and acts accordingly is a Citizen Journalist in true sense.


More about Vandana Anand

Vandana Anand works as a correspondent at CNN-IBN. A sports enthusiast and passionate about books, Vandana desires to study everything in this world. She feels life is too short and there is so much left to do – from playing tennis to writing books, from doing medical research to social service etc etc. Vandana loves travelling and is especially fascinated by hills and snowfalls. She wants to explore unexplored places.
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