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TIMES OF INDIA EDITORIAL- The Insanity Of Social Media

June 18, 2016 05:54 AM

Jun 18 2016 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
just in jest! - The Insanity Of Social Media


Our netas have readily taken to it, but they should be careful what they wish for
There's no denying that today's politicians have taken to social media like fish to water. After all, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook not only allow our netas to pontificate about their political programmes in convenient 140 characters ­ details be damned ­ but also give them a sense of working hard. But something that our hardly working netas may not have counted on is that social media is a two-way street and followers can often stump their political icons. Just ask our external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj who was recently asked by a netizen to intervene in the matter of a faulty refrigerator.Said petitioner wanted his refrigerator replaced, and was perhaps hoping Swaraj would use her international connections to put in a word with the manufacturer ­ after all the refrigerator came from the stable of a Korean company .
Or consider that home minister Rajnath Singh was requested by another social media buff to take a travel agency to task for alleged malpractices ­ the thakur leader does come across as a strict disciplinarian, or perhaps has to play the part as India's home minister.

Such unusual requests make us wonder: Has social media created new profiles for our netas that have little to do with their actual portfolios? Add to this a healthy dose of mai-baap mentality and we have the perfect recipe for odd public requests for our politicos.

Hence, to stay ahead of the curve our netas need to be prepared. For Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav may soon get a request to repair bicycles. That request could, in fact, actually emanate from within the Samajwadi Party given assembly elections in the state next year and the anti-incumbency it's been facing. Meanwhile, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari may be solicited to inspire local laughter clubs given his jovial nature ­ some may even make him the butt of their jokes.

On the other hand, Didi in Bengal may be called upon to impart painting lessons to budding artists it's a different matter that such an endeavour might have Picasso turning in his grave. In the same vein, AAP's Ashutosh could be pressed for acting tips ­ after all, he gives new meaning to the phrase `cry me a river'. Then who can overlook our resident philosopher Rahul Gandhi. Given his `beehive' and `escape velocity' theories, it's a wonder that he hasn't been asked to lecture philosophy under-graduates in universities.

Finally, the poster-boy of a mai-baap sarkar, our venerated PM Narendra Modi, has promised acche din for all. True, it's taking a while to materialise ­ just like the Rs 15 lakh in each bank account.But there's no denying he's doing a good job traversing the world trying to woo foreign investors. While he's at it, perhaps he can fix the parking problem outside our office building. After all, didn't he say he was the country's pradhan sewak?

 

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