This is a part of a series where we pick data from the MTS Election Tracker, crunch numbers and build a graphical representation of them. We have used Konnect Social to track the data along with support from our knowledge partner,Social Rajneeti. Read other articles about Election tracker here.
India is a young nation—politically as well as demographically—and its aspiration is not reflected only in a certain vociferous, opinionated leader and representative of extreme right, but also in likes of Omar Abdullah, who with his characteristic suavity (which we find missing in aforementioned leader), intelligence, and controlled wit has impressed young and mobile Indian middle class. And it is not an aberration that he happens to be fairly active on social media.
Omar Abdullah on Facebook
Although the youngest Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has a little above 67,000 fans on Facebook. The page is not the one where any active discussion takes place. It is almost a dead page with very infrequent updates (see the first image). The frequency of updates suggests that Omar Abdullah is not very keen on using Facebook despite the fact that fans of this miniscule page talk more with each other when there is something to talk about (read updates). It is evident from the following two images.
People on the page are vocal, but due to lack of updates the page had almost non-existent actively engaged fans, at the time of writing.
Omar Abdullah on Twitter
Unlike Facebook, Twitter stream of Omar Abdullah is quite active. People are engaged on some heated discussions on the timeline. An example of which can be seen in the following tweet.
In total, the young politician has close to 5 lakh followers on twitter which has put the politician’s twitter profile among the top twitter profiles of any politician from the land.
Unlike several other politicians (particularly right-wing), Omar Abdullah does not only toot one’s own horn on its social web, but he is also promoting his state and retweeting other people’s tweet, which as a result is shared by many more people.
Although decibel level is not at a cacophonic high, as on pages of right-wing politicians, who anyway are masters of noise (see the image below), his tweets do cause some ripple in the web. A case in point is the following tweet (and a retweet), which not only got retweeted and added as a favourite by many of his fans, but which also resulted in a half-page, full-spread news story done by The Telegraph, Kolkata Edition, that wears many caps but one on April 18th, and an April 13th Story by Firstpost.
Discussions around Omar Abdullah on Social Media
Personality cult of Indian politics, which also reflects our mindset of finding a savior in one individual, can be felt at in the following word cloud—you can also look any election reporting for the same. It appears as a nation we are incapable of holding on to an idea until it is embodied in a certain person. A typical trait of humans in the forming stage, and those who prefer color to grey. Young nation indeed!
A snippet from media coverage of Omar Abdullah proves the point put forward in the above paragraph. See how he is pitted against “the Leader” because of which the former already sounds like a wrongdoer and evil to all “we know it all” young Indian voters.
The big media, which through its reportage is following the ideals of Joseph Goebbels, has successfully converted itself into a tool for “Public Enlightenment and Propaganda” talking boisterously about its leader and attacking vehemently its leader’s opponents. A typical example of which is the way it has covered likes of Omar Abdullah. The propaganda machine has almost nothing positive to talk about the Kashmiri Leader. A cursory look at the following two images will tell you what big media intends to do with its opinion-shaping power.
It does not only speak of the propaganda machine which is churning information products as fast as it could but also of our “Young Nation” which get swayed by sound and sight and which fails to discern a conflation between news and opinion. The below-shared social media sentiment graph of the studied leader is a typical example of it.
Social Media happened to be a place where honest discussions used to happen before The Reichs Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda caught up. The effect reflects nowhere more than it reflects on the social web of Omar Abdullah. He has done a remarkable job, but then it is hard to beat the propaganda machine, which led to a huge wave of negative sentiment around the J&K’s Chief Minister.
Social media presence of Omar Abdullah is appreciable. He has done a good job on twitter, far better than several other leaders, but he trailed on Facebook, where he needs to be much more active.
Omar Abdullah has been a powerful orator on Twitter and has been consistently voicing out his opinions which are followed by over 5 lakh users. Though 2 years back he made a statement that India was not ready for Social Media, he did not avoid the platforms like other politicians. And today, he is only benefiting from it. His fearless public stands on many national topics have kept him in the limelight. Establishing your presence on a single platform is more impactful than trying to ape strategies on all platforms.
His political bashing on Twitter and crisp opinions on Facebook are interesting to read and instantly grab the user’s attention. Its nice to see honest, unedited tweets coming from the minister of one of the most controversial states of India.