fbpx

Twitter is now part of the 'optics' for India's Cabinet Ministers

Reading Time: 3 minutes

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar joined Twitter a couple of years ago, but he posted his first tweet only a day after becoming a Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Cabinet.
“My first tweet. Thank you all for the best wishes! Honoured to be given this responsibility. Proud to follow on (sic) the footsteps of @SushmaSwaraj ji,” Jaishankar tweeted on May 31.
Of the nearly 70 tweets he has posted so far on the micro-blogging platform, all of them are in English, except the one posted on June 2 in which he assured the people of the country that the Central government had no intention to impose any language.
Jaishankar posted that tweet (pictured below) in Tamil, showing very well that he was fully aware of the audience he was addressing, and also how fast he was learning to use Twitter as part of the “optics”, just as any other politician would do.

Twitter.Indian Link
One of these is not like the others

If Jaishankar, a diplomat-turned-administrator, took just a couple of days to master the platform, it is not difficult to imagine how a seasoned politician would use it. And make no mistake, all of them are on Twitter, following in PM Modi’s social media footsteps.
An analysis of the tweets by the Cabinet Ministers shows that Hindi and English have emerged as the dominant language of communication on the platform.
Depending on the message they want to convey, the ministers sometimes resort to using other regional languages.
However, some ministers like Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment; Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries; and Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution appear to be more fond of tweeting in Hindi.
But with language translation tools now readily available, no one seems to be complaining about the use of Hindi or other regional languages by a Cabinet Minister.
“Given the ease of translation within Twitter or other platforms, I don’t see an issue with politicians using whatever their language of choice is, as long as it aligns with their intended audience or the statement they want to make. Political communications are much about the optics,” says leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy.
“However, given the sensitivity in southern and eastern India to the imposition of Hindi, for someone aiming at a national plus global audience, English does make more sense in India, unless there’s a specific point the person is trying to make through his choice of Hindi as a language on Twitter”.
Language, however, is not the only tool that the ministers are carefully choosing to score a point on Twitter.
Some are even taking a keen interest on the kind of images displayed on their Twitter page.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, for example, chose to display a message about Savitribai Phule, known as the first female teacher in India and a crusader against caste and patriarchy, in an apparent attempt to earn the goodwill of the marginalised sections of the population.
Twitter1.Indian Link
Be it language or images, clearly, Twitter is fast becoming the medium of choice for Indian ministers.
IANS

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

0
  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
Frontline worker Parita Patel (inset). Image supplied

‘Serving the community’: COVID testing in remote NSW

0
  The past two years have been a rollercoaster of COVID-19 related turmoil; from isolating lockdowns, closed borders, to trying to help Indians in the...

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

australia day thong cake

Australia Day: pick your date

0
  Even before Santa puts his feet up in front of the fireplace, returning from his whirlwind tour dispensing toys to children and spreading the...
Kombu Vacha Singamda

Review: Kombu Vacha Singamda

0
  In Kombu Vacha Singamda, director S.R. Prabharakan is back with another gripping rural entertainer that features Sasikumar in the lead. AT A GLANCE FILM: Kombu Vacha...
Volunteers at RAIN (Resourceful Australian Indian Network) preparing meals for affected community members.

Isolating Indian families find relief in NGOs’ home-cooked meals 

0
  As Sydneysiders grapple with the Omicron wave, Kogarah resident Ekta Sharma found herself in a 10-day isolation situation after she and her husband received positive PCR test results just after...
Malayalam film Carbon 2022

Review: Carbon

0
  Director Srinivasan's Carbon is an investigative thriller that keeps you hooked from the start till the end, thanks to a novel plot with twists. AT...

Govt to rebate student visa fees for the next 8 weeks

0
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a rebate to entice international students to come to Australia. “We will be rebating the visa application fees...