Monday, 30th October 2017

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Lesson for PM on Twitter

Notes of dissent that largely perceived in PMO's tweet an attempt to equate Modi with India

By Pheroze L. Vincent in New Delhi
  • Published 2.03.19, 4:03 AM
  • Updated 2.03.19, 8:46 AM
  • 2 mins read
Narendra Modi speaks at a programme to launch various development projects, a road safety park and a transport museum in Kanyakumari on Friday. PTI

The Prime Minister’s Office on Friday uploaded excerpts from the speech Narendra Modi had delivered in Kanyakumari earlier in the day.

One PMO tweet read: “Sadly, a few parties, guided by Modi hatred have started hating India. No wonder, while the entire nation supports our armed forces, they suspect the armed forces….”

The official handle of the most powerful man in the country drew the usual share of thousands of admirers and re-tweeters who applauded him and appealed to him to stay the course.

But something else caught the eye: notes of dissent that largely perceived in the tweet an attempt to equate Modi with India.

The timing and the choice of the Twitter handle to register the dissent stood out, given the initial wave of euphoria after the Indian air strikes in Pakistan and the willingness of a large section of the media to accept unquestioningly the claims of unnamed “sources”.

The following are edited excerpts from some of the printable comments the PMO’s tweet drew:

Madhumita Mazumdar: “Amazing that the official handle of the PMO should be tweeting in this cavalier manner. Asking legitimate questions to a government or a PM is a citizen’s fundamental right in a democracy. Every tax-paying citizen knows that the government belongs to them and they deserve answers.”

Sarat: “We all love India. You are NOT INDIA, Sir, you are also an Indian. India has seen many PMs and many wars but NONE tried to play politics like the BJP does today. I feel ashamed that I voted for a BJP MP in 2014.”

Abhijit Raj: “Nobody is questioning forces. In fact, the IAF clearly said that currently they don’t have the estimate of casualties. Its your govt that planted the figure of 300+ to mislead the nation which ultimately resulted in loss of credibility.”

Nandita Sen: “No one suspects the armed forces…. There is always great respect for them. Criticism of govt policies should not be seen as hatred of country or anti-national activity. No leader can do well if he is surrounded only by yes-men.”

Nikita Natarajan: “Modi hatred to hating India? Has PM Modi started considering himself synonymous to India?”

Lajan: “Nobody is suspecting Indian Armed Forces. You are politicising the valour of our brave soldiers for political mileage.”

Rohan J. Gonsalves: “What is wrong in asking for evidence? Don’t give this nonsense narrative. Or do you mean to say we have to blindly trust our government or the armed forces, believing they can do no wrong? Neither am I asking for any evidence not do I have any problem with the people who are asking for evidence.”

Yash: “Modi is not India and India is not Modi. We don’t hate you.”

Sharad Paranjpe: “Use personal handle… don’t spoil PMO image.”

Ved Nayak: “Criticism of the government isn’t criticism of nation.”

Lavanya Ballal: “Modi does not mean India. India is much bigger than you.”

Sudeep: “Come out of the BJP mode and talk like a Prime Minister.”

Vinay R. Gowda: “So the PMO Twitter handle is used to politicise the issue by criticising the Opposition instead of giving actual updates?”

Chaitrika Naik: “We are suspecting your act. Not our military.”

Suresh K: “Now he will go in full swing to encash the bravery of our soldiers to hide all the policy failures.”

Pallab Sinha: “No, Sir… no Indian hates India.... This narrative has been brought forward by the political party which you belong to and its supporters. If I ask you a question, I am immediately labelled as Congressi, anti-national and what not.”

Vikas Dhuriya: “What do you think, everyone will support your opinion? Your opinion is yours, not mine.”

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