Do you know who manages Indian Army’s social media? Major Archie Acharya is the woman behind it all. She is managing social media strategies and analytics based on global inputs for Indian Army social media platforms. And since we all know how crucial it is to have a social media image as it can shape and break opinions today, it is safe to say that Major Acharya has a key role at hand.

WORKING IN TOUGH TERRAIN

While her social media profile is a recent happening, Acharya was inducted in the Indian Army in 2009. She started with Repair Recovery and maintenance role, for which she stayed near the Pakistan border for a few years. “In the mountainous terrain, it gets really difficult to get vehicles repaired, so I worked mostly in the workshops but we have also had serviceability check of certain devices which only operate at night. I had the responsibility to check all those equipment in the night so I used to go on long range patrols and check night-vision devices. This whole process involved a lot of movement towards the borders and when I used to check my phone, I could see only Pakistan network. India network had gone off completely.”

JOINING THE ARMY

It was Acharya’s dream to join the forces since childhood. “I was in class eighth when I saw a recruitment campaign that Indian Army was running and it said ‘Do you have it in you?’. It was so thought-provoking that I just wanted to be a part of it. But I never shared my thought with anyone except my mother. After I completed my schooling, I thought now I could fill up the form, join the army and be a fighter. But no, I was a woman and so I wasn’t even allowed to appear for the exam. I was told that I will have to wait until my graduation gets over, and I did. Right after that I gave the exam and got selected in the first attempt.”

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Her first memory of joining the army? A pixie haircut. “With that haircut, I realized that they cut my ego,” she said. With that haircut, I learnt that all men are alike and that I am equal to any other person, Acharya added.

“I was in class eighth when I saw a recruitment campaign that Indian Army was running and it said ‘Do you have it in you?’. It was so thought-provoking that I just wanted to be a part of it. But I had to wait until my graduation got over.”

SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

Coming back to her current role and the excitement that it surrounds, today even for the Indian Army, having a dynamic presence online is imperative. “In my current role, we are trying to run some social media campaigns. We are trying to be ethical as much as possible because we as Indian Army, we cannot change our thoughts.”

Acharya handles the official Indian Army website and the official YouTube channel. She is also responsible for the campaigns Indian Army runs online. She says that these campaigns are mostly to represent the army in a positive light and stay relevant online.

But what is it that drove the Indian Army towards having a public profile online? Acharya says, “When Kargil happened, Indian Army did a great job but that was the time we realized that we need to make some information public as well. We realized that we cannot be a closed-up organization and that we need to open up. That’s when the army first thought of having a public presence. Indian army does a lot of other things apart from protecting the borders and people need to familiarize with those other aspects of the army as well and that’s where social media comes into play.”

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