Trudging through mindspaces that unfurled on Himvani over the past one year, I can only say the landscape ahead is no less enchanting. Much having already been said by fellow travelers, I can only say it has been a spiritual journey for me, a pilgrimage exploring the vast possibilities and layers of meanings that can be attributed to living in the mountains, especially Himachal. Himvani, in fact, is an expression of this feeling for each one of us and that is why we have been cohabiting here in virtual space as well. That Himvani is growing exponentially is reason enough for us all to keep moving towards a new horizon of hope and contented living.
Let me also share with you that Himvani is a unique initiative, perhaps the first of its kind in India if not the only, and it had been a success because each one of us has been continuously striving to take it forward. You may all be aware that citizen journalism is the latest fad in the media industry, with each player trying to project its citizen face better than the other. While we were the first in India to toy with the idea, the mainstream media, especially television took it in a big way, though different from what we have been doing. I am not trying to make a comparison, nor am I trying to force the idea of citizen journalism or grassroots journalism over this community of ours, but again I want you all to be proud that this initiative originated in Himachal, a rarity as you all too would agree.
For those of us who have nothing to do with journalism, the idea of being labeled a journalist may seem irritating, but let me assure you that it’s not journalism in strict sense, but just social consciousness to understand our world in a better manner and connect with it. Over the past one year, we have seen wonderful stories on Himvani, but one may be tempted to think what we gained out of it. Well, every epoch in human history has been defined by a revolution or a practice that took society to the next level of existence, and now is the time for collective knowledge. We have been saying it for ages that knowledge is no one’s personal property and that it grows by sharing, but only lately have we started practicing the adage. Sharing content to benefit each other or the society as a whole is just an extension of the ‘free software movement’, but it has already changed the world. So can we again afford to be left behind?
I am happy that lately lot of people from Himachal have come up with blogs and website on the state, but to make sense out of the effort we need to be focused. To make it a movement we need a platform and Himvani has already proved beyond doubt what collective effort can achieve. “I may think I am a genius but a little effort from others may make me even greater genius.” We need to realise this and maybe also that an individual never matters – we live for the society and therefore our actions contribute to the common cause.
We do not expect sensational stories or exact journalistic work, but at least information that that can contribute to the pool of knowledge that can be of use for all of us. And it is not that there is nothing around us that is not of interest for others. Each individual has his or own perspective about the world around, and it matters for others too. So continue posting your views, thoughts and events that affect your life, and I am sure at a later stage all of us would one day feel proud to have heralded a new beginning. Happy anniversary…