Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The curious case of people followed by the Prime Minister of India

Can you imagine President Obama following a Twitter handle that routinely peddles hate, spreads rumors and abuses others online? No.

Can you imagine Prime Minister Modi following such a Twitter handle? There is nothing to imagine here. He follows several.

Amitesh Singh was just another “proud” nationalist Twitter troll who spewed choicest abuses to anyone who didn’t agree with his world view. He projected himself as a BJP youth leader and also claimed to be related to a BJP politician. His biggest claim to fame however was to be followed by Narendra Modi, the honorable Prime Minister of India. It was no doubt a source of great pride for a nineteen year old to be followed by the Prime Minister of a country of 1.2 billion people. 
Amitesh’s hot headed abusive tweets fitted his profile well and were really no surprise to anyone till one day he tweeted a call to “kill 3000 Muslims” in response to a rumor that was doing rounds on the internet. What followed was a series of events, including his apology, his arrest and a denial from BJP that he was associated with them. The only fact that remained was that he was one of the select few followed by Narendra Modi.

Narendra Modi has 16 million followers. That is an impressive number by any standards. Out of these 16 million, he chooses to follow around 1200 people back. Many of these are government handles, ministers, heads of states and other such profiles you would expect the Prime Minister of a country to follow. However, a handful of the 1200 are profiles that will make you squirm. Some of these are highly abusive, while others are a source of rumors & hate messages.
So why does the Prime Minister of India follow such people? There are many theories around it. One school of thought believes that his social media team is behind this and Modi is not really aware that his handle follows such profiles. The other school believes that Modi is indeed aware and these represent like-minded individuals that are part of his core support group.


I would like to believe the former but I am reminded time and again by fellow twitterati that this is not the case. He has personally met many of these individuals in specially organized events. All of them flaunt the mandatory selfie with him, stating, “Proud to be followed by Narendra Modi”.

A recent RTI has confirmed that Modi is indeed very social media savvy and manages his own twitter account. This settles all speculation about the handles he follows.

“How can Narendra Modi be responsible for the tweets of people he follows?”  ask many of his supporters. None of us are responsible for the tweets of our followers. But hey, he is the Prime Minister of the country and he has handpicked this select group to follow. They draw inspiration from the fact that he follows them and in the mind of any observer, he condones and supports their online behavior.
“Who are you to tell the Prime Minister who to follow?” ask his supporters. I absolutely agree. It is his choice. He is free to follow anyone he likes, whether they be abusers, hateful profiles, rumor mongers or riot instigators. As a citizen of India I would be happier if he didn’t follow these people, but I respect his choice. The voters also have a choice which they will exercise at the right time.

23 comments:

  1. Hi Sam,
    I found your write up one of eye opener for citizens of the country. Why social media troller/ activist are getting abusive day by day if one advocate a different ideology or perception on any social / political issues /matters from them?
    Normally people assume that these people are backed by top-shots politicos but when PM follow such people put stamp that it is officially approved.

    Thanks and Regards

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    Replies
    1. Hi Manoj - Fully agree with you that we are seeing a rise in abusive profiles that are intolerant of others viewpoint. What is shocking is that the PM follows so many of them. Whether or not he has hand picked them, he has lost the battle of perception on this issue.

      Like so many issues where we voice our opinion, I doubt if he will do anything about it. Unfollowing them means losing out on the core support base.

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    2. Not a big deal , me n my friend tried to track the people whom PM FOLLOWS from last 1.5 years and it is a fact that he follows lot of hatemongers who have many photos in events with pm , they are BJP'S CYBER CELL army. They manage likes, retweets n have power to trend things as per their advantage n use. N I hear they are paid quite handsomely n r kept out of troubles inspite of hate speeches. The curious Case of shilpi tiwari in case of morphed KANHAIYA vdo has not even given a due respect..

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    3. plz Khan sahab try to track people like kejriwal,mani shankar ayaar u will find jihadis from pakistan in their accounts..

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    4. what a load of shit this blog is. Writer should just get rid of the anti-Modi mindset and realise abuse on social media is common. I can give countless handles followed by fellow journalists who are far more abusive.

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  2. well researched article...now do little research on other politician's hadle too...like Delhi CM Kejriwal.

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  3. well researched article...now do little research on other politician's hadle too...like Delhi CM Kejriwal.

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  4. I think following someone on twitter is not intended to literally following them or admiring them or support them. It is just to know what they do or post on daily basis.

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  5. You yourself are telling that the abusive person PM followed was jailed and BJP denied any association with him. Then how is it possible that PM supported his ideologies or backed him.. Hypocrites..

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    Replies
    1. Well there is a small matter of following the abusive twitter account which indicates interest if not support.

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  6. He is PM Of india, And certianly india belongs to all religions, cast etc. (Atleast Now) hence it makes lot of diffrence since PM of country is following a person who has such mentality. He is our leader, and he has to set an example. And lead by the example. Modiji is loved by all and i am sure few things which needs to be highlighted may make lot of diffrence. My humble view.

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  7. True to the core... you just try reasoning with these kind of supporters and they instead of replying with facts, declare you anti national and fill your TL with filthiest of abuse. And its not only male supporters but few female supporters also...

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  8. Modiji is not responsible for somebody's speech or thoughts.
    It's like your son raped a girl and you are arrested for that.

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  9. As pm of this great country modi should set example for the nation and more so his followers very fact he is quite it means it has his approval he speaks well and is always giving sane advise but he is encouraging hinduvta ideology through his followers and party he will be exposed soon that will be his down fall he is playing double game it will cost the nation heavily internationally and internally God save this country

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  10. I read the first line, thats it.... Am done, may be you need to do more research

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    Replies
    1. Did you read the word 'imagine' in the first line?

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  11. he even followed Arvind Kejriwal. Another one in his list of abusers.

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  12. I'll venture this - "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"... maybe.

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  13. Hi Sam,
    I am following you on twitter as well from long time. I am totally agree with your views. I am also active on Twitter with @khalidmfp handle. Several time i found some trolls followed by Modi Ji are spreading hatred and spreading rumours. Also most of them are abusers.
    Modi is the one who maligned the dignity of Prime Ministers post.

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  14. Hey u dont try to defame india's PM try to respect him by i know your congress Party is not in power don't try to abuse PM all the time try to accepthim respect your pM and your country fight with him in elections,his schmes i know u can't coz u know that u will loose u don't have any point to defeat becoz his schemes are all good for the country so try to make ur party better by removing italians in your party ....

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  15. Muslim will be only jihadi. Some Muslims will bombing while some like the writer of this post will instigate them. That's it and nothing else.

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  16. wonderful realization and wonderfull is the way you've penned it down.


    I can sense a serious blogger in you

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  17. Respected Madam,

    Any wayModi doesnot need your vote

    ReplyDelete