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It is the nature of Indian Politics that the person who has been Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and was just shy of becoming the Secretary-General of the United Nation has been reduced to a mere politician. Shashi Tharoor, a typical highbrow Stephenian (or how alumni of St. Stephen’s College consider themselves), has joined Indian politics in 2009 after losing an election the post of UN Secretary General to South Korean Ban Ki-moon, and since then he has been in news for wrong reasons, and his statements (official and unofficial) have been pasted all over social media. In this election season, he is maintaining a comparatively a low profile, yet his stature demands an analysis of his social media activities; a glimpse of his hold could be seen in the following image.
Shashi Tharoor on Facebook
Facebook has become an obligatory social media platform to be in, even if it does not suit the purpose, and even when there is no use of it. After Yogendra Yadav, Shashi Tharoor happens to be the second politician whose Facebook wall is mostly filled with content tweeted from his official twitter account. Screenshots of two tweets are examples of that. This also reflects in the size of his Facebook Fans (180,000 fans), which reflects merely a faintest shadow of his twitter following (see the twitter section for more), and which may not be as big as some other leaders, but the size of the fan base is decent enough.
But it is not all twitter content that Tharoor shares on his Facebook wall. There are quite of few Facebook exclusive content as well, which are posted to drive home the message about his candidacy and political activities. Posts are more everyday affair. Nothing is exciting to keep people engaged, for which Tharoor is known.
Despite the fact that updates on Facebook wall of the studied Congress leader are mere duplicates of his tweets, engagement has not been completely cipher (see the first image), though it appears so when seen in the context, i.e., vis-à-vis other politicians (see the second image).
Shashi Tharoor on Twitter
Tharoor is one of the most active politicians on twitter. From his “cattle class” remark to Gandhi Jayanti controversy to his purportedly twitter-born-or-led love affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, tweets posted by and on Tharoor’s twitter account has kept Twitteratti agog, which perhaps is the reason behind 21.4 lakhs people following the outgoing UPA-government’s minister of state minister, HRD, on twitter, which makes his follower-base one of the largest in the segment.
Twitter, as is the case with other politician, is the platform of choice of Shashi Tharoor as well to disseminate his political message. It also played an important role in his political campaign as well as in keeping its followers posted on things related to his political campaign. And it appeared, upon scanning, that his timeline is just a shadow of its formally glorious self, also in terms of raking controversies.
But it is not all controversial on Twitter. And it is not even all political. He uses twitter also to tweet about things other than politics like Pongola of the Karikakkom Chamundi kshetram and his published article, which gives more human touch to his twitter stream. This does reflect in the way he is mentioned in various twitter conversations (see the image below).
But as this is an election season, the things that media wrote about the outgoing UPA-government’s minister of state minister, HRD are mostly concerned with the election, as you can see in the following image, but not all things said are positive. In fact, almost all the sentiment expressed in the news items on Shashi Tharoor is either neutral or negative, as you can see in the second image below.
There is a very little positivity going around about Mr. Tharoor, partly because of his controversial characters and partly because of things that have happened in his personal life. And the flow of negative emotion can also be due to the failure of UPA2. The media seems skewed towards neutrality in his case, or at least, it seems moving towards that (see the image below). Can it because of his effort to maintain a low profile after a sudden demise of his third wife, Sunanda Pushkar—the name which appeared strongly in the above posted word cloud.
Social media presence of Shashi Tharoor is quite impressive, though it has shed its scintilla that envelops the owner. The charisma of Tharoor is missing, yet it is very engaging. Overall, for a politician there is nothing to be disappointed by the shape and size of its social media profiles. He is more impressive on twitter, like other politicians.
Shashi Tharoor’s social media presence has been one of the most controversial topic in the realm of Indian politics. His personal life went terribly wrong while Twitter being an add on factor, considering his huge fan following. The impact of social media on a public personality’s life has defined the risk of opening your life to online users. Shashi Tharoor who famously came to be known as the tweeting minister had a lot of engagement on social platforms at one point. Unfortunately, the dwindling web mentions and a downfall in positive sentiments highlight his growing status of damaged reputation.