Indian Prime Minister’s Office gets Twitter account
The Indian Prime Minister’s Office has opened a Twitter account. It is a brave, bold and rather audacious move by Manmohan Singh. The account can be accessed at @PMOIndia. Now remember that this is not the Prime Minister tweeting but the Prime Minister’s Office. This could only mean that there will be a team screening the content and meticulous care will be taken to make sure the tweets aren’t misinterpreted.
Looking at the tweets so far, it seems to be a link exchange to rather innocuous material. Not even the Indian news channels can create controversy out of it. Maybe I have underestimated the ingenuity of Indian news channels. We will soon know. India’s PMOIndia Twitter account already has 10,000 followers.
India’s politicians and the bigwigs have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. Most famous being the Shashi Tharoor-Lalit Modi episode and how one tweet too many cost Tharoor his ministry and Lalit Modi his empire. That did not deter the upcoming tweeple from embracing Twitter. Omar Abdullah uses Twitter to great affect. Narendra Modi has his own Twitter account and uses it really well.
The PMO account is different from cases we have seen in the past. Closest are the tweets of the Foreign Secretary with the account @ForeignSecNRao. Though that has the outlook of an official ministry account, it still has the tinge of the personal account with addition of NRao.
On a slightly different note, why didn’t anyone squat the @PMOIndia Twitter handle? Squatters never thoughtthe Indian PMO will be on Twitter?
The timing of PMO’s Twitter move is rather surprising. On one front India is suing social media companies for the content posted on their sites and getting refershers on democracy and the Internet. On an other front some parts of India are going to polls in 2012 and the whole of India will go to polls in 2014.
The PMO can’t use the account for any election propaganda, that’s for sure. What if it does? The Election Commision has one more channel to watch for. And unlike Mayawati statues in Uttar Pradesh, tweets or mistweets can’t be covered. At best, they will be proliferated.
Here’s wishing PMO happy and non-controversial tweeting.
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