June 29, 2014

When Indian PM finds blog as the best medium to communicate

We have earlier talked about the web habits of Indian politicians. Just to recall, many of the top political leaders are now available on Facebook and Twitter and some have their own websites / blogs. Not all are professionally maintained.

The new Indian government, led by #NarendraModi, is reported to be keen that Ministries, Ministers and senior officers communicate with people through social media. Either willingly or just to comply with Modi’s directions, some have made amateurish attempts to have a presence on the social media. It was also reported in a paper yesterday that a 'social media hub' in the I&B Ministry supplies 4-hourly analytical reports to Modi on what is happening on the social media. Modi has the fourth  highest presence on the social media, another report this week said. 

Amidst this social media cacophony, Modi yesterday posted a post on his blog to share his own assessment of his government’s performance in the last one month. Mind it, he (or his backroom team, that hardly matters) is a shrewd communicator and chooses his medium carefully; he didn’t choose Twitter on which he keeps on posting, he didn’t give interviews to selected channels as he did in the last phase of general elections, he  didn’t make a speech, didn't make an ‘address to the nation’ through the government media. He even did not issue a statement. He went about writing a blog post!

Modi’s most important lieutenant, #ArunJaitley, also uses his website (in fact, a blog) to reminisce, discuss serious matters, make a point, argue his party's line. He has also written a long post, ‘Remembering Emergency’ in which he has recounted his experiences of emergency that was declared by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1975 to suppress political opposition. 

But others are sleeping!

Other main political players seem hibernating at present. Congress leaders, after a crushing defeat in the elections, have started recovering only now. To them, our advice is to get active on blogs, especially to discuss policy issues on which the present government is likely to err. Websites / blogs of Bihar ex-CM Nitish Kumar and Rajasthan ex-CM Ashok Gahlot have almost died as the official support behind these websites is no longer there. Ex-Agriculture Minister Sharad pawar and ex-Communications & IT Minister Kapil Sibal do not seem to have anything to say, having been badly bruised at the hustings. Even Advani is silent, having been hurt by Modi’s rise within the party. Ironically, on the blog of Ajay Maken (social media head of the Congress), you see this notice: ‘Latest post:  Coming soon. The area is under construction’.

We have carried many posts on social media, including some on Indian politicians. You can find them all on the link given here.