Right-Wing’s Double Whammy

With the appointment of Kashmir-born Raheel Khursheed as head of news, politics and government at Twitter India, the BJP feels threatened, as it perceives an end to manipulation of its followers on the popular social networking platform, says Naim Naqvi

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In the garb of a fake slogan of ‘progress and development, many media outlets tried their best to portray a ‘larger than life’ image of Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi. They ignored his incompetence and deficiencies even when Gujarat was burning and the Supreme Court called him the anecdotal “Nero”.

Hindi press knew its readership and served the Shikanjis of Hindutva in almost all the transparent tulips. With few cursory tributes to secularism and ‘unity in diversity’ in that saturnalia, they established Modi as a formidable politician.

Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter – ideal means of reaching out to people – were free for any enthusiast to capture the space. While the veteran Congressmen were busy reporting to the dynastic rulers to save their jobs, the BJP enjoyed the benefits of all media campaigns. They took advantage of these ready-to-use social media platforms and thus, climbed the dazzling heights despite various odds.

However, the advent of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the new style of simple down-to-earth, next-door politician, Arvind Kejriwal, turned the tables against the conventional politicians. And BJP couldn’t escape without taking a massive hit. One example is the BJP sitting in Opposition in Delhi despite winning highest number of seats in the recently concluded assembly elections.

2014 polls are going to be fought on the rules written by AAM AADMI. The politics, caste, creed, religion, region and fake developmental mirages with sharp verbal empty duels look like out-dated ordnance.

There may still be some Hawa for ‘Modi as PM’ but the total scenario has undergone a paradigm change. NaMo is no longer the only glittering star of the galaxy as Kejriwal has taken the mantle of ‘New Leader of the Young India.’ It is a bad news for RSS and Modi as well.

The story doesn’t end here. Kejriwal’s fan following is increasing by leaps and bounds. AAP’s membership is going up astronomically with every passing hour as most of the honest, sincere and established Indians, from every walk of life, are joining the AAP. Modi is no longer the ‘Prince of Denmark’ of this new epic. All media portals are now taking up and talking of the new hero Kejriwal as they have no option but to worry about their TRP’s.

The BJP and the RSS took a roundabout to admit their second cause of worry ahead of the general elections.

The reason: A Kashmir-born former journalist Raheel Khursheed has been appointed as the new head of the news, politics and government division at Twitter Inc.’s Indian unit. Twitter, which so far had been the most loyal media organ of Narendra Bhai through his real or pretending fans, is no longer so easy to manipulate.

Khursheed is a well know critic of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Congress culture. He is a prolific writer, online activist and would be responsible for tracking and expanding the Twitter’s readership. Given his past experience, he is expected to make Twitter an intelligent media of expression for new writers, politicians, technocrats, artists and social activists.

But the problem for the BJP and the RSS is that they can apparently no longer manipulate the public opinion through fake followers of their ‘great’ leader. As such, the RSS juggernaut is out in the open with full throttle, demanding Khursheed’s ouster.

The young and ebullient, new boss of Twitter India has 33 years of life to his credit. He hails from the South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Until recently, he was the Director of Communications at “change.org”, a US-based online social campaigning group.

Shujaat Bukhari, the Editor-in-Chief of Rising Kashmir newspaper, smartly summed up the BJP’s ordeal in a tweet. “Happy for Raheel Khursheed for making BJP scary abt his appointment as Twitter India head. A Kashmiri has potential to be threat to a national party in India like BJP,” Bukhari tweeted.

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