Sometimes an absolute farce can make it to the front pages of newspapers. Since last 48 hours, a substantial number of Indians are discussing whether the official Twitter account of the outgoing PM should be transferred to the incoming PM. All this when both Dr Singh and Mr Modi have not shown any interest in, to say the least, a Twitter account.
The online media of the outgoing Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh (yes, he had one) announced on Tuesday that his Tweets will be archived (and therefore may not be transferred to the new PM Modi), leaving the BJP leaders fuming with rage and contempt. The BJP demands transfer of this account to Mr Modi, the PM elect, as it is a ‘digital asset’.
As if Dr Manmohan Singh’s Tweets are worth archiving and reading.
Perhaps the only startling comment Dr Singh made in his entire political career was to his US Counterpart George Bush – ‘The people of India love you.’ Funny!
It’s almost certain that the historians who will write India’s political history will not bother to check Dr Singh’s tweets for a ‘fresh perspective’. After all it’s the victor who writes the history, and Dr Singh is not one.
This, however, doesn’t mean that Mr Modi has been extraordinary on social media. His messages were as mundane as diplomatic greetings. Yes, he had an extra ordinarily huge fan following and an extra ordinary cyber-army of young professionals working relentlessly to create sarcastic, emotional and funny messages.
After the announcement by @PMOIndia, BJP’s official Twitter account (@BJP4India) tweeted: ‘Continuity in governance and all government assets is the hallmark of Indian constitution.’ The Indian Constitution, nowhere, speaks about transfer of digital assets. There is probably not a single chapter in the Constitution that discussed digital properties.
The internet was not even dreamt of when the Constitution was inaugurated in 1950. The BJP goes on to say that it is ungraceful, unethical and illegal in the way outgoing team in @PMOIndia has handled the transition of this National digital asset. This is news because the BJP, for the first time, had termed anything that Dr Singh has used, as ‘national asset’.
The BJP is free to take legal action against the outgoing PM, but it won’t because they know that there is nothing illegal about it.
There are a number of us, including business magnates and heads of states, who are following Mr Modi on his fake Twitter account @Narendramodi_G. Now that he is the Prime Minister, he can be more gracious and create another one if he is denied the @PMOIndia handle. I assure him over 1 million followers in 24 hours of its inception (faster than @superstarrajini).
Rumours are doing rounds that PM designate Modi may want to name his new Twitter account as @PMNarendraModi and also retain his personal account @Narendramodi, the lucky mascot.
I believe it’s time the BJP stops quarreling with its rival Congress party over paltry issues such as a Twitter account and start thinking big. Perhaps it still can’t believe it has conquered the lower house of Indian Parliament. The Congress is out of the game, but we wish there were as many rational, legal experts in the BJP. We would at least like to see a few more.
The chapter is now closed after Twitter’s clarification that it has taken control of the @PMOIndia and will hold it for the new regime. Let’s hope that Acche Din Aane Wale Hain.