Today 25% of the Indian population is using the internet. Thus, India is second to China in using the internet. This shows the interest and growth of the internet in India. Is the Indian Church aware of it? In 2013-2014, there has been a surge of people using the internet, in India. It includes the steady growth of internet users in urban and rural areas of the nation. Last six months showed a growth of 10M new internet users from India. If this growth continues, the number of users will cross 500M by 2018. Thanks to the Indian governments for their National Digital Literacy Mission (started in 2012) and Digital India Project (2015). So our nation is going through a digital illumination. By using the term digital illumination, I mean the penetration of the internet into the life of people and its influence as a result of it.
What is the response of the Indian Church to this process of digital illumination, while the internet spreads its wings in our nation? Independent research among the Indian Diocese, through on-line, reveals the pathetic on-line presence of Indian Church. Only 68% dioceses have websites and many of these don’t have the possibility for informing the news and events of the Diocese. Another reality is that, just 50% of existing websites updated once in a while, and less than 20% of existing websites are regularly updated. These findings point towards the fact that, the present situation of the Indian Church in on-line communication is very minimal. Today each association and organization is coming up with their own attractive and informative websites. Those websites are interlinked with their social networks. Therefore, they get a fast readability in the society through online communication. It challenges the Indian Church to be a qualitative contributor into the on-line communication.
How can the Indian Church be an active member in the on-line communication, today? When I use, “Indian Church”, I mean not only the Bishop, Priests or Religious but, the Faithful, who are the most. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each one of us to be a contributing person. I have noticed that many of our youths have their dreams in utilising the on-line communication in the present world. How can we collectively bring up these dreams into reality? Who will tie the bell on the cat’s neck?
Creative and qualitative suggestions are welcomed.