Shashi Tharoor Tweets-up with Bangalore.
Shashi Tharoor stopped over at the TERI Centre for an intimate Bangalore Tweet Collective on his way to TEDMysore.
When an Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, who has served as the Under Secretary General of the UN starts to Twitter @ShashiTharoor, he is bound to draw followers by the gigabytes. He joined Twitter on 16th of March this year, and after initially being unconvinced about using it as a serious tool, he now relies on it as a means of “demystifying the process of governance by revealing how I spend my day, without revealing any state secrets. It has almost become like my online diary and the only writing I now get to do.” To which one of the Twitter-zens from the audience proclaimed that it should be mandatory for all Ministers and members of Parliament be on Twitter!
Shashi Tharoor was refined, candid and attentive to questions. Speaking of “undesirable controversies”, which led to a lot of Indians joining Twitter, and following him, but on the flip side, he said he may have lost voters from his constituency. “And now I have well meaning come and tell me , you have got to stop tweeting,”, says our charming Minister, adding that having skeptics and people telling him not to, is only an added reason for him to stubbornly continue doing what he does.”
Speaking about people pretending to be him on Twitter, and how he was blamed for hampering free speech, by having the accounts blocked, he said,” you can call yourself Slushy Tharoor, for all I care, I have been a satirist, and I will laugh with you, but pretending to represent themselves as me, I will object to that. When I tweet, every word is mine; I don’t have people writing it up for me.”
When asked about his comment on India-Pakistan playing cricket in the United States , on neutral ground, Mr. Tharoor, grimaced as he said, this was another area where his thoughts were just misrepresented, where it was more an idea thrown out my a journalist, and they fell to theorizing it, on the sidelines where he was discussing more serious and relevant Indo-Pak issues, about the 26/11 perpetrators being brought to justice. Obviously, since this discussion took place in Kolkata, talk of cricket would come first.
Twitter, as a social media tool having the ability to make informal gatherings happen with dignitaries like Shashi Tharoor, could just be the change that the Indian political system needs. Kudos to @TinuCherian @dhempe and @santoshp and @23jacob for making this happen. Yes they go by their Twitter handles.
Fun Facts about Shashi Tahroor’s Twitter Career:
After the Bangalore Tweetup, his followers crossed the 4 lakh mark, which means he got 10,000 addiotnal followers, post the Bangalore Tweetup.
He started Tweeting on the 16th of March
He follows 16 people on Twiiter, including his 2 sons, Barkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi and SM Krishna.
His Tweet before he got to the Tweet up at the Teri Centre,”An hour so far in Bengalaru traffic to get to the tweetup - driver swears we are now "nazdik"! See you all soon”
His Tweet is after the Tweet-Meet in Bangalore, “ Traffic finally clears &we are on road to Mysore at last after 40 mins battling town traffic. Enjoyed Bengaluru tweetup & stimulating qsns!!
You can follow Shashi Tharoor on Twitter on his handle @ShashiTharoor and check out his website for more on the http://tharoor.in/