#HarBhashaEqual, from an impossible dream to being a reality: President, Dailyhunt

Umang Bedi of Dailyhunt on the launch of their digital campaign based on a social message representing how deep-rooted language bias exists in India

e4m by Apeksha Mishra
Updated: Aug 9, 2018 8:56 AM

India, home to more than a thousand regional languages, today thrives as one of the largest English speaking countries in the world. While India is known for its linguistic diversity, language bias isn’t much far behind. Dailyhunt, the news and entertainment content app launched a digital campaign with a vision of #HarBhashaEqual.

Umang Bedi, President, Dailyhunt spoke to exchange4media about their new campaign and the inspiration behind it. The three-minute short film passes on a social message representing how deep-rooted language bias exists in India. It looks forward to generating awareness on personal bias and promote language equality in India. #HarBhashaEqual is conceptualised and executed by Mumbai-based full-service digital agency What’s Your Problem.

Bedi shared a narrative from his personal experience that bears potential to change the attitude of many towards linguistic diversity. This small moment led to the launch of #HarBhashaEqual. He says, “We all have been victims of bias. At times it’s a bias against local speakers and sometimes a bias against those speaking English. I personally have engaged with many who might not be able to hone their English language skills but once you interact, you know you have met a man of substance. 70 per cent of the sales that happen in flights for food and beverages, take place after interaction in local languages. The launch of #HarBhashaEqual is a ground breaking digital social campaign to promote our cause, linguistic equality in India. We hope to see the campaign go beyond the film and eradicate our own in-built bias against our languages.”

Target audience

Digital campaigns are primarily meant to increase awareness regarding a social cause among a specific set of people. Bedi said, “The youth and women of India would relate to this the most. In today’s society our identities are very much layered, first with our social status and then with the language that we speak, which becomes a part of our personality. Yet in a country of rich cultural and linguistic past, we mostly fail to look at these people who speak in different languages equally. #HarBhashaEqual is an attempt to initiate a much needed debate on this very topic.”

Given its past record, Dailyhunt seems to be focused at empowering people, starting from Tier 2 cities to those living in metros. When asked how this campaign would help him leverage his firm as a content app Bedi wholeheartedly dedicated the move #HarBhashaEqual towards instilling awareness among all in order to respect each language and the very owners of it. He said, “This campaign is not about driving traffic to our app, instead we are working to educate the youth how local languages should not be looked down upon. Local language consumer is not a low socio-economic consumer, proof being the largest sales for all e-commerce companies are taking place in Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities. Our language biases are inhenrent and it’s time we must get rid of them. We are here for a cause that is very relevant to the population of Bharat.”

Bedi said, “This bias mindset is not only to be found in India, but also extends globally. It’s a bias that exists at all levels across all languages. It goes back to our history, the way British Rule took over the world and dominated for several years. Hence to negate such a thought we have taken small baby steps for now with this campaign of ours.”

Now a campaign, next national movement?

The short film ends capturing minds with a beautiful song on linguistic equality, asking Indians why they should be scared just because they can’t speak English. This leaves behind a message asking everyone to write their next social status in their regional language. All said and done, we wonder if the campaign was here to stay forever and bring about a revolution in the minds and attitudes of all commoners. Reacting to this, Bedi said that the early signals were encouraging enough to hope that their baby campaign steps would reach great heights and impact the society as one entity to drive in change. Going further he said, “We hope to see movements, NGO’s, public personalities and influencers to really take up this cause of nationalistic interest. We wish to drive a multi-step movement across India in different shapes and manifestations within the society. We are happy to know that people so far have related to the message we wanted to convey.”

Creativity Vs Technology

Discussing if companies were losing out on their creativity with the rise in technology Bedi said that to facilitate tech and creativity walk hand in hand, understanding the power of a mobile environment was crucial. In a feed environment one is leaning forward and scrolling through it with the world at one’s fingertips. A user will only stop on content which catches attention. Bedi claims, “We are working with our partners to create feed friendly creative format using our content specialists and ideas. Right engagement of content in the form of infographics, memes, and innovative multimedia content is what we believe in and practice.”

Key digital strategies for next five years

Dailyhunt’s key strategies on targeting local content digitally for the next five years Bedi said, “We plan to go deeper around hyper-local content, all of which will be pivoted around videos in order to widen the reach of language through this medium. Our focus is and will be around local issues that any common man can relate to. Content for women, content for youth, local issues will majorly be our area of focus. We want to build a content graph to help our users socialise around it.”

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