Social Media Day: ‘Unfollow trolls’, Congress tells PM Modi musically 

Through a musical video, Congress social media team has urged PM Narendra Modi to unfollow abusive Twitter handles, telling him how the users “blessed” to be followed by him harass women online


Ashutosh Sharma

Prime Minister Narendra Modi—the most followed Indian politician on Twitter—has time and again faced scathing criticism for following abusive Twitter handles. Be it the case of a user celebrating the murder of Gauri Lankesh or social media assault on Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, it has invariably triggered debates—online as well as offline—as to why the Prime Minister follows trolls on Twitter.

On World Social Media Day, the women (and a few men) of the Congress social media team have come up with a musical message, urging Prime Minister “Modi Ji” to unfollow trolls. “This Social Media Day, women have something to say to @narendramodi,” says the video before the lyrics begin with abusive tweets intermittently appearing in the backdrop of video cover: “When I find myself logged onto Facebook, Sanghi trolls come to me. Spewing words of venom, trolling me, and in my hour of outrage when I am tweeting for the world to see, they give my mother rape threats. Trolling me. Trolling me. Trolling me.”

“When it comes to trolling, they have mastered the art as we can see. And all of them are blessed to be followed by Modi Ji. Do you see, Do you see…what has the country come to , do you see, Modi Ji, Modi Ji, Modi, Ji…,” the lyrics go on to add. The video can be watched here:

Significantly, in the past also many prominent people form different walks of the life, including journalists, have pointed it out that PM Modi follows users who bully, abuse and post offensive stuff on Twitter.

Ace cartoonist Satish Acharya earlier this year had gone after trolls with a Facebook , saying that “Modi Sarkar finally creates more jobs! More jobless youngsters are being hired to disrupt/downgrade facebook pages that criticise Modi governance, with negative reviews/ratings. Good Job, sir!”

Social Media Day: ‘Unfollow trolls’, Congress tells PM Modi musically 

Not the first time PM has been asked to unfollow vicious trolls

Award-winning actor and activist Prakash Raj, during his campaign against the BJP, in the run-up to Karnataka elections had asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows trolls on Twitter.

In an article titled: “General Narendra Modi and his troll Army”, that was published by The Wire last year, Swati Chaturvedi wrote: “In my investigative book I Am a Troll: Inside the secret digital army of the BJP, I have written about this phenomenon in detail. Modi follows such people and, despite international opprobrium, has not unfollowed a single handle that routinely tweets hate. Some of the handles he follows send out rape threats, death threats and indulge in communal incitement. Modi is the only leader in the world to follow such handles.”

The same year in February, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien regretted during his speech in the Rajya Sabha, saying that Twitter trolls followed by PM Modi spew “venomous, misogynist” stuff, besides issuing “murderous threats.”

“The controversy over Prime Minister following people on Twitter is mischievous and contorted. PM Modi is the only leader who freely engages with people on social media platforms,” BJP social media warrior-in-chief Amit Malviya had said in a statement last year and added: “He follows normal people and frequently interacts with them on various issues. He is a rare leader who truly believes in freedom of speech and has never blocked or unfollowed anyone on Twitter.”

But as Swati pointed out in her article, “Modi unfollowed Jwala Gurunath, a staunch supporter, when she complained to him repeatedly on Twitter that she was allegedly sexually harassed by Tajinder Bagga, who has now been made a BJP spokesman. Bagga was earlier caught on camera assaulting the well-known public interest lawyer Prashant Bhushan. Bagga is, of course, followed by Modi.”

Similarly, senior Journalist Ravish Kumar in an open letter to PM Modi, had also talked about the trolls he follows on Twitter—who are spreading hate and using derogatory language against journalists, including himself in the cyber space.

“The world of social media has played a key role in democratising our discourse and giving a platform to millions of people around the world to express their views and showcase their creativity,” said PM Modi on Twitter, sharing his greetings on Social Media Day. “I would particularly like to congratulate my young friends for their innovative usage of social media. Their frank method of conveying opinions is extremely endearing. I urge youngsters to continue expressing and discussing freely.”

Click here to join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines