Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs is no stranger to social networking and is the highest followed person in India on Twitter. Tharoor in fact popularised Twitter in India to a great extent with his now controversial Tweets and was even named “Twitteroor” for his political gaffes as far as his political party’s stances were concerned.
The minister is intellectual, tech-savvy and popular with the masses and has 537,478 followers on Twitter when this post was written. The problem with Tharoor is that his Tweets are a source of both admiration and political uproar at the same time. Even as he endears himself to the youngsters, the geriatric members of his often sycophantic Congress party look at him as an up-start of sorts.
That Tharoor was in the initial stages a close rival to the UN Secretary-General post of Ban Ki Moon and that he has numerous books to his name all accord him a celebrity status. What I like about him the most is his constant attempts at making his countrymen laugh at themselves. Here he is back in the news for tweeting against his own government’s tightening of tourist visas to India. This is what he tweeted –
Dilemma of our age: tough visa restrictions in hope of btr (better) security or openness & (and) liberality to encourage tourism & goodwill? I prefer latter.
When asked about the economy class of Air India he famously tweeted –
“absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!”
The slang was lost on most people in India and when he added the holy cows all hell broke loose.
That he has huge plans for his country and is not afraid to speak his mind and even against his own government makes him stand apart. But then these days how the mighty fall ( Tiger Woods) and before you know it, courting controversy can finally catch up. The minister sure needs some expert reputation management for continuing his work well and to be in the good books of the old war horses in the Congress party.