New Delhi. After Telegram, the government now plans to shut down another popular medium of communication from the ancient times – Orkut. The social networking website, launched in 2004, had gained immense popularity in India, but its visitor base has steeply declined in the last couple of years as most Indians have switched to Facebook and Twitter.
“According to the latest figures, Orkut has just 78 active Indian users. We cannot employ dedicated resources to monitor activities of just these 78 accounts. To add to it, none of them is a Congress fanboy account. So, we don’t see any reason to continue Orkut in India,” union minister Kapil Sibal explained the rationale behind the move.
This decision has shocked the BJP, as Congress for the first time has not gone out of their way to support a minority group (Orkut users, in this case)
for votebank. #BlowToModi
Apart from BJP, some users are also shocked. Mohit Singh, an active social networking user said, “Orkut has been a special part of India’s internet history. It revolutionized friendship in India. I never knew I had 693 friends in my life until Orkut. I no more use it, but will always hold a special place in my browser history.”
Critics argue that shutting down Orkut is government’s move against free speech, but analysts argue otherwise.
Satish Taurani, statistical manager at SoftAnal InMan (Software Analysis and Internet Management) said, “It’s a wise decision. People don’t use Orkut anymore. Forget social-networking addicts, even Narendra Modi trolls don’t use Orkut. That in itself proves what a ghostly town Orkut had become.”
Although majority of Orkut account holders don’t care about this development, Kapil Mishra, a religious Orkut user says he is unhappy with this decision. “This is insane! Where am I going to create fake profiles now? Facebook instantly deactivates fake profiles, I am not smart enough for Twitter, and even Google employees don’t use Google+. This is unjustified,” Kapil told Faking News, admitting that he has 4 fake Orkut profiles, out of which 3 are of girls.
A newer generation that has started to take over social networking, have never even visited the site. “Yeah yeah, I’ve sorta heard about it. My uncle used to use Orkut in his college days. But I’m a twitter addict… like totally,” says Tanya Khanna, age 15, who has more than 8000 followers on Twitter and a Facebook fanpage of herself.
Meanwhile, Orkut is gearing up to bid India adieu. It has already shut down its “Testimonials” service and the very infamous “Recent Visitors” feature. The service will breathe its last in India sometime soon. Google, which owns Orkut, has reportedly thanked the government of India for taking a decision that they were not able to take.
It is believed that like the last Telegram sent, even Orkut’s last scrap would be a significant one. Experts predict that, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will post his Independence Day wishes as a scrap on his own scrapbook (instead of the usual hour long speech) marking the end of this 9 year old