We, Indians, have this way with emotions that is quite unique in all aspects of understanding. It’s difficult to decipher when and how we’ll be offended. It has something to do with our DNA that defines us the way we are and the funny thing is that we are absolutely OKAY with it. I guess there must be a strong reason behind this whole panorama, to say the least. But for the time being, let the sleeping devil lie!
I have no issue with us being Indians and acting all “Indian”, be it our choice of cinema, our music, way of life and humor but it gets on my nerve when I see our dear MEDIA trying to milk away on us. The recent episode of Shashi Tharoor (I’m sure you all know him; if not, then Google him. Its time you do) and his “tweeting” controversy (labeled Twittergate!!!), all scrutinized and condemned by the politicos and journos, tells us how much our so-called fourth estate needs a change of view, just for a change.
Well, Shashi Tharoor is not the everyday corrupt MP that India is so used to and he comes from an elite background and a career that glistens in his everyday life activities (Tweeter being one of them).
Tweeter is gumption in today’s world and I can’t exclude India from that world, even if it’s confined to just urban areas. It’s a kind of mini-blogging site where you can post message or sentence of 140 characters including the space and punctuations. In simpler words, it’s a craze of sort. Or else, how can we explain the presence of dignitaries like Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd and Gordon Brown, gleefully tweeting on it, and not to mention other famous and big shots like Oprah Winfrey, Ashton Kutcher, Jonathan Ross, Hugh Jackman and sports personalities like Andy Murray, Williams Sisters, Shaq O’Neal and Lance Armstrong. Some renowned Indians too have made their presence (read Tweets) felt on Twitter including Pritesh Nandy, Chetan Bhagat, Priyanka Chopra and Karan Johar but SHASHI THAROOR takes the cake with 231,635 followers, as of now.
Tharoor’s presence on Twitter definitely contributed to its success in India. He has this aura of success, achievement and definitely a missing demeanor that is the need of time. He is an able diplomat cum author cum human rights activist. His success in recent General Election in which he shook the stronghold of communist party in Thiruvananthapuram, his constituent now, is a breather for many. But one cardinal rule remains true to Shashi Tharoor: He is not a politician. And this ‘liability’ is what making the mountain of a mole in Tharoor’s case. But does he really need to be one to serve his beloved nation?
About a week or so ago, he was asked by a journalist on Twitter whether he too will travel in cattle class (a famous reference to anything crowded), in view of the recent austerity drive preached and ‘proposed to be practiced’ by the ruling party, Congress, to which Tharoor belongs. Since the question was asked in jest, he too answered in jest saying “absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows.”
Of course, he didn’t mean any offense considering the fact that he isn’t the kind who shies away from temple to prove his western outlook. But the way the media played the role of devil’s advocate was not only tiresome and clichéd but even haphazard in some sense. They encroached on his Twittering as if it was a crime of sort.
The media joke didn’t end there. It went on publish stories of how Tharoor was complaining about excessive workload that was backlogging on him due to his 6 days visit to Liberia and Ghana. Thankfully, Tharoor continued twittering about his visit in bright positivity on strengthening international relationships. The sad part was, when instead of covering the African visit, the media was busy pinning on Twittergate and its backlashes from opposition party demanding Tharoor’s resignation!!
Media just couldn’t overcome the hangover on that stupid joke that was supposed to be forgotten like our wise PM suggested. I’m glad our PM is a man to reckon with, not the usual fools we have up there.
I read Tharoor was supposedly asked to refrain from Twittering which I don’t think he adhered to, thus debunking the hogwash of our everyday newspapers and lot. He is a public servant and he needs to keep his personal perspective in check and I do agree with the required code of conduct but I don’t think you need to teach a guy who spent almost three decades as a diplomat in United Nations and had a Ph.D at the age of 22 and has authored more than ten books. His only crime was his sense of humor!
In a country where politicians are hardly looked up to, let alone followed, Tharoor is ray of hope for us or at least to me. I’ve been following him since long and I was thrilled with his appointment as a Minister in External Affairs. I’m active on Twitter too and follow Shashi Tharoor’s comments with zeal because he exudes this enigmatic charm that was absent in almost all of the past public servant, may be due to lack of Internet Age or maybe, plain lack of magnetism!
One thing is for sure, now, Mr. Tharoor must be well aware of Indian Media’s strong ambiguity when it comes to a guy who spent most of his life traveling around the world and settles down in India with a silver ticket to Parliament!!!!!