If you are on Twitter then there are chances that you may start believing Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India. There is a good chance that you are well acquainted with the terms Feku and Pappu-these are very much a part of the new age lingo! I do not blame you. In fact there is no need of playing the blame game here. It just amuses me to see the fight between the Congress and the BJP on the social media platforms- between Diggi Raja and (un)official profile of RSS, between supporters of NaMo and Congress- simply amusing!
There is a very interesting fight going on Twitter, “which Indian politician has the most number of followers!” Top two contenders are Shashi Tharoor and Narendra Modi. Tharoor was the undisputed champion for a long time. Recently Narendra Modi has acquired the first position. At this moment Modi has 18, 59,992 followers, whereas Throor has 18, 29,473 followers. It’s just been few days since Modi is the ‘Twitter Champ’ of India.
I do feel it is important that we at least try to understand the kind of politics which is going on Twitter. Kindly go through Modi’s twitter profile and Tharoor’s twitter profile. You will see that they both seem extremely regular in updating their followers as to what they are doing on a day to day basis. There is no blinking to the fact that they both are extremely active. But if we give a deeper analysis, then you will not find a single interaction on Modi’s profile, whereas Tharoor’s profile is full of conversations. In fact, I was amazed to see one of my friend’s tweet being retweeted by Tharoor! So on one profile there is a monologue in process, while another profile has a dialogue in process! Well, certainly not the ideal case-study, but a random observation to bring forward few other points.
It is a well known fact that Modi’s PR is being handled by APCO, the global giant who are known for handling the PR of few extremely ‘influential’ people on this globe. There are few reports which have claimed that more than half of the twitter followers of NaMo are either dead or fake. The same goes for few other politicians from Congress. Just like India’s Economy, we again have a number game going on which is irrelevant for the nation, but yet the politicians are investing lot of their important time in taking care of their social media reputation.
Kindly go through Modi’s profile once again. Look at his profile picture. It is totally different from the real Modi whom the Gujaratis have voted 3 times. Somebody who is not acquainted with Modi may confuse him to be a business tycoon- a corporate avatar! Certainly it is a PR exercise to tap the younger generation. But the admin of the profile (I am sure Modi is not tweeting at all) must understand that the younger generation likes to have a dialogue rather than listening to a monologue!
This is true for many politicians who have partially understood the importance of Social Media. Interaction on these platforms will only result in creation of another democratic platform. But we have people who have ‘bigger’ aspirations to fulfill, who want to impress the younger generation so that they can vote. Alas, another good democratic platform wasted.
This article was first published in Youth Ki Awaaz on July 10, 2013