Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP supporters and how not to react on social media

A few days back, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, lost her cool on Twitter. No, it was not due to some Congress trolls abusing her. Nor was it because some media house had published a hit-job on her. It was because a few BJP supporters questioned her.

It all started when the MP posted this picture from her Twitter account:

It was obviously a matter of pride and honour to be called as a guest at a function organised by our ex-army men. But there was one thing, or rather one person in the picture which perturbed her fans. Controversial journalist from NDTV, Barkha Dutt was also present in the pictures.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Besides beingone of the reasons for lowering Indian media’s credibility, Barkha Dutt was in the crosshairs of many nationalists because of her latest sympathetic utterances towards slayed terrorist Burhan Wani. This was further heightened after Arnab Goswami mercilessly exposed her, without of course naming her. To add this, such a  personality coming to a function related to the armed forces was the last straw. In such a situation many people felt that Lekhi’s presence along with Barkha was untenable.

The natural, and initial assumption of social media users was that it was a program organised by MP Lekhi or the BJP, in which Barkha too was invited. This led to a barrage of tweets questioning Lekhi as to why she was giving importance to such a persona-non-grata at such an event. Some of the messages could have also been insulting to the MP.

Lekhi’s response to the outrage was astonishing. She started off by calling one of her party’s supporters an “idiot”. Another self avowed BJP voter was called a “Kejri supporter”. Then she proceeded to retweet troll tweets, such as images of PM Modi with Barkha and other unwanted people. Some people were called “lobbyists”. Another was likened to Ravana.

In all of the above, the main point, which was also stated, got completely drowned out. The event was apparently not organised by the MP. It was an event of South MCD, the elected councillor of the area was a Congressman and the area was part of Lekhi’s constituency. The MP did clarify this at multiple points, but these clarifications were interspersed with her rude replies to tweets, some of which may have been rude themselves.

Both sides erred in this episode. Social media supporters of BJP and Lekhi erred, in assuming that it was a BJP event. It was a natural misunderstanding which could have been resolved calmly and peacefully. The MP could have abstained from making abusive tweets and stuck to the point: Barkha was not invited by her. An MP should not abuse any person, especially not your own supporters.

Elected representatives to the Lok Sabha, and especially first-timers, should realise that they owe a large part, if not all, of their electoral success to the Modi wave. A large section of voters would have voted for them, just because they wanted to see Modi as the PM. Hence, taking such supporters for granted is a very bad idea.  Secondly, they must realise, BJP owes a large share of its success to its online supporters, especially on Twitter. Twitter may not have as many active users as Facebook, but this is where all memes originate, all jokes start, which target politicians, which mock leaders, which eventually percolate to whatsapp groups and email  chains. Antagonising your strength when a quiet word can do much better is harakiri.

Politicians must also realise it is far better to be surrounded by alert and frank supporters, rather than true-blue yes-men “Bhakts”. Finally, it is the supporters who make a politician and it is always good to have people who will call a spade a spade. What one must adjust to is tolerating the sometimes offensive tone and tenor, instead trying to find the message, and analysing whether it is relevant.

After Lekhi went off track, so did some over-enthusiastic supporters. One cannot expect that an MP will boycott a program with her voters just because one media person who is at loggerheads with her support base is present at the venue.

Social media supporters also must realise the predicament elected leaders, especially spokespersons are in. Social media users expect that some controversial journalists and their channels be boycotted. But it is not as simple. If this criteria is used, 80-90% of media houses would have to be boycotted. The result would be the party would be unrepresented at debates and there would be no one to counter the propaganda. Until and unless there are enough media houses and channels on the other side as well, it is a must that BJP leaders and spokesperson grace such channels and put forth their views.

Also, saying that leaders should individually snub media houses or persons is easier said than done. Media and politicians have an odd relationship. They are often at loggerheads on many issues, yet politicians depend on the media to get adequate publicity. Hence, they always have to strike a fine balance in being tough, yet not adversarial with media persons. Further, if they do get into fights with media persons, then they are inviting even more negative press for themselves and their party. This is the harsh reality which one must understand.

In sum total, while one can fault a section of social media users for unnecessary outrage, they cant be taken to task because at the end of they day they are not honourable MPs elected to the Parliament. An MP on the other hand must understand how to handle such tough situations with tact and patience, instead of making enemies out of friends.

P.S.: On a side note, these category of supporters who question their own leaders are also hilariously tagged as “Bhakts” by leftists.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

Nitin Gadkari at the receiving end: Is there a pattern?

Indian Express has a massive interview of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in its March 23, 2019 edition.
AM Sheikh Dawood promised of offering 10 litres of free liquor monthly to the families in his constituency on his victory

Independent candidate from Tamil Nadu promises 10 litres of free liquor every month on winning elections

An independent candidate from Tamil Nadu has come up with a strange promise of offering 10 litres of free liquor every month to every family in his constituency

Shunned by the BJP, jilted Shatrughan Sinha goes on a rampage against the party, rumoured to join Congress

Shatrughan Sinha was visibly irked and had a Twitter meltdown after the BJP declared Ravi Shankar Prasad's candidature from Patna Sahib constituency

Rahul Gandhi’s lucrative and seemingly clandestine means of income and his links to scam accused FTIL, Unitech

How does Rahul Gandhi earn to buy land and other properties? A mystery we try to unravel

NC Lok Sabha candidate Akbar Lone begins a rally with ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, says will abuse anyone who abuses Pakistan

Akbar Lone, NC Lok Sabha candidate for Baramulla, said that the country across is a Muslim country and abusing Pakistan would mean he is abusing himself
'Rahul Gandhi is running away from Amethi, not me': Smriti Irani on rumours BJP might field her from Wayanad

‘Rahul Gandhi is running away from Amethi, not me’: Smriti Irani on rumours BJP might field her from Wayanad

Smriti Irani rubbishes rumours that have surfaced about BJP thinking about fielding Smriti Irani from the Wayanad constituency too, to counter Rahul Gandhi. 
Sapna Chaudhary denies rumours of her joining Congress

Embarrassment for Congress: Sapna Chowdhury says she never joined Congress, picture with Priyanka Gandhi old

Denying rumours, Sapna Chaudhary said that the photos in circulation on Internet were old
PM Modi’s blog on Lohia: Opposition parties and their friendly media in damage control mode

PM Modi’s blog on Lohia: Opposition parties and their friendly media in damage control mode

Media chose to cover reactions of opposition leaders rather than Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scathing blog on Ram Manohar Lohia's 110th birth anniversary
Owner of AAP propaganda blog agitated when Sushma Swaraj stands up for two underage Hindu girls

AAP propaganda site owner gets angry after India expresses concerns over atrocities against Hindus in Pakistan

Sushma Swaraj's move to seek details of the Incident had agitated quite a few people in Pakistan, including their Information and Broadcasting minister Ch Fawad Hussain, who saw it as an intervention in Pakistan's internal matters.
Chandrababu Naidu govt accused of misusing temple funds, allocates Rs 5 crores for mosque repairs and Iftaar parties

Chandrababu Naidu calls PM Modi a ‘demon’, JDS MLA wants to ‘crush jaws’ of Modi supporters: Politics in India reaches a new low

Crush the jaws of those who come and shout 'Modi, Modi': JDS MLA Shivaling Gowda said while addressing a public gathering

Latest articles

Connect with us

148,982FansLike
120,596FollowersFollow
31,448SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these


Share This Post and Support: