Adda's new address: social media and identity among India's youth

Abhishek Chaturvedi
Grey Worldwide India

In India 'Adda' has been a quintessential part of society since time immemorial, much like the concept of public meetings during the Renaissance in Europe. 'Adda' is a Bengali word that refers to intellectual debate and conversation, usually between people of a similar background.

Prior to the establishment of an independent India, 'Adda' at secret venues had a significant role to play in the freedom movement. It became a venue of choice to discuss the tactics to mobilise people for protests. The members participating in an 'Adda' usually originated from similar socio-economic groups, but the process has become more democratized post-independence.

'Adda' was made popular by young people belonging to the so-called 'middle-class intelligentsia', marking the 'urban middle-class' identity and projecting their group's linguistic cultural uniqueness.