About Me

My Photo

Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tharoor, Twitter And Controversies

Oops @ShashiTharoor has done it again! Does he serenade controversies or controversies have ways of seeking him out ?

I believe it is a little bit of both. For over-excited media channels vying with each other for TRPs, a candid Shashi Tharoor on a promiscuously open platform like Twitter, it is a wet dream and there is no way they could miss such golden opportunities to manufacture news. In this instance too the controversy couldn't have started without the media's active contribution. But then those were not verbal statements that were then put in words by a reporter to mean differently,the minister had tweeted them and they are still there for the whole world to see. How could he then have been quoted out of context ?

Well, the media is seldom neutral while reporting news , it tends to be far more judgmental and passionate, even to the point of being untruthful. In almost every instance of news reporting, the facts,allegations are never served in isolation but are packaged with the opinion of the journalist, which again  is influenced by her/his craving for sensationalism. This exactly isn't a secret, media's penchant for sensationalizing even the most drab story is very well-known but in Tharoor's case, Twitter seems to be a recurring factor. Twitter is just another platform, if at all Shashi Tharoor's statements were objectionable, they could have been made anywhere! In fact,  it is Tharoor's questioning of the Home Ministry's visa restriction policy that has stirred this controversy, why is "Twitter" emphasized and hyphenated with Tharoor on all news channels and print media ?

 This may be because the media and the government both have issues with a Minister of State airing his views on an open forum. Had he given the same statement to a handful of reporters, these very words might have sounded "refreshing"and the media could have hailed him but to devoid the media agencies from raking the moolahs is not something the latter can forgive or overlook. No wonder, at least one notable journalist, who also heads a television channel has gone on record criticizing the Minister for his twittering ways. Ironically, he himself did it on Twitter.

Apparently the government in general and Shashi Tharoor's boss and the Home Ministry in particular are not at all happy. It is not about going against own government, Tharoor as the Minister of State for External Affairs was merely cautioning against implementation of a stricter visa policy which were not taken well by several important countries. As such he was doing his job but what has annoyed a lot of people is the platform he chose. According to them, governmental policies are too sacrosanct to be even exposed to common folks' perception.

What does a career diplomat like Shashi Tharoor know on foreign policy making ? India is a democracy but that should be restricted to voting only! Once the ballot has been cast and a government is in place the people should go back to their toils leaving things like laws and policies solely in the discretion of the on the ruling elite, of course they can later be used during future electoral campaigns but till then the public have no right to know anything about the policies, at least not from the minister himself !