PM Modi has been a long standing advocate of free and fair usage of social media. His stand on conduct on social media is simple & well-known. In an interview given in 2013, while speaking on the subject of trolling, he said:
Our Culture is known for its long standing traditions of respecting our elders and our scholars. In the same vein, we worship and celebrate Women’s Power as Shakti. Expressing one’s opinion on Social Media, does not imply, that we abandon our Culture and value systems. Our conduct at home, offices and schools, is based on certain well appreciated norms of mutual respect and dignity. The same ought to apply to our conduct on Social Media as well
PM Modi is one of those world leaders who indulges himself in social media to understand the pulse of common people. But now a controversy has erupted in the media after a certain twitter user followed by PM Modi had used derogatory language against the recently deceased Gauri Lankesh.
The controversy over who PM Modi follows on Twitter is mischievous and contorted as PM Modi is one of the rare leaders who freely engages with people on social media platforms. He follows normal people and frequently interacts with them on various issues.
We have multiple examples of leaders curbing free speech on social media by the earlier government:
- The earlier government had indulged in blocking specific handles on Twitter and certain pages just because they gave opinions against the ruling establishment.
- The previous PMO handle had even gone onto actually block many people – yes, a Govt handle belonging to the highest office in the country blocked people for having views.
But PM Modi has never reportedly blocked anyone on Twitter.
A ‘Follow’ on Twitter Is Not a Character Certificate or Endorsement
Following someone on twitter is not an endorsement or character certificate of the person who is being followed. As people often argue that retweets are not endorsements, it is common sense to understand following is not endorsement, unless someone wants to deliberately create an issue.
Let us see why:
- For example, PM Modi follows Rahul Gandhi, who is an accused of loot and fraud in the National Herald case. Does that mean all those people who follow Rahul’s twitter account including PM Modi endorse Rahul’s alleged frauds or his often-controversial views?
- PM Modi also follows Arvind Kejriwal, who abused him on Twitter calling him a ‘coward and psychopath’. By the logic of some of these people that ‘following means endorsement’, do they mean PM Modi endorses this abuse of himself?
- Arvind Kejriwal is alleged to have told a woman ‘Settle Kar Lo’ when she complained of a party member molesting her. PM Modi follows him on twitter. Why did no journalist or politician question this?
Rahul Gandhi’s Dark Social Media Associations
- Rahul Gandhi has been associated with some people who are known for filthy abuse and innuendo.
- Even before Rahul officially came onto twitter officially, an Uttar Pradesh Congress leader called Amaresh Mishra who claimed to be close to Rahul and Digvijaya on national TV frequently issued death and rape threats. Neither distanced themselves from him:
After Rahul came onto twitter officially, he followed quite a few people. Out of them at least 2 are notorious for targeting women, especially Union Minister Smriti Irani. Sanjay Nirupam, whom Rahul follows had infamously uttered despicable remarks against Mrs Smriti Irani on live TV. Did journalists stop inviting him or did Congress drop him from their party?
Another man Amarinder Singh Raja, who is a national president of Youth Congress, whom Rahul still follows has also been guilty of tweeting innuendo against Smriti Irani:
Tehseen Poonawalla who is followed by Congress people as well as journalists, and is often invited to studios to defend Congress, had sent these tweets to Smriti Irani. Why aren’t Rahul or Poonawalla’s journalist friends ever asked any questions:
Followed by a host of journalists and Congress people, Gaurav Pandhi is a Congress supporter on twitter. Below is what he has said:
Kejriwal’s association with abusive social media personalities
AAP supporters too are notorious for regular abuse and trolling on twitter. Kejriwal himself, either follows or openly associates himself with some of the filthiest, abusive people on twitter. Here’s a person Arvind Kejriwal follows, called Abhishek Mishra. A self-styled RTI activist:
Mika Singh is a famous Punjabi and Bollywood singer. He is also a fervent AAP supporter and seen as very close to Kejriwal. He backed Kejriwal even financially for which Kejriwal thanked him publicly:
Now let us see some of Mika’s colourful tweets:
Vishal Dadlani is a Bollywood music composer who also happens to be a troll on twitter who generously abuses people who do not agree with him. He is a big AAP supporter and has often been seen with Arvind Kejriwal. Below is the kind of language Vishal uses:
On the occasion that highly revered Jain Guru Tarun Sagar addressed Haryana Assembly, Vishal mocked at the Guru and made snide remarks at him:
Sections of The Media Are No Better
Check this screenshot of an infamously abusive and violent troll (who before suspension was followed by various journalists and trolls), cheering the murder of CRPF jawans and praising Leftist terrorists for the action:
Leading journalist and Modi critic Rajdeep Sardesai is said to have abused people via Direct Messages on twitter:
Or check this journalist Ifrah Mufti who is working for Hindustan Times and called PM Modi as “Jaahil”:
Here’s a ‘journalist’ whose book on ‘trolls’ was promoted was by most media houses. And how is her own language? Is she abusive?
In a nation that has many substantive issues of policy that can be discussed, the Opposition and mischievous sections of the media are reduced discussing who PM Modi follows on Twitter. Will they also do the same for Rahul, Kejriwal and the people of their own brethren.