Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday unfollowed about 63 people on Twitter. While initially it appeared that he had unfollowed only 8 pro-Congress propagandists, it later came to light that he has followed more people, especially ‘journalists’ and other fans of his.
Amid the speculations, Congress mouthpiece National Herald Consulting Editor Sanjukta Basu hosted a discussion on the same and made startling revelations. Snippets of the discussion were shared on social media wherein Basu, one of the towering intellectuals of the Congress-left ecosystem, can be heard explaining how this was a strategic move by Rahul Gandhi.
Despite being unfollowed by Rahul Gandhi herself, the renowned commentator didn’t see it as some kind of insult meted out to her. She explained to an audience running in hundreds the grand strategy.
“People like Barkha, Nidhi Razdan, Rajdeep Sardesai, you know, those who are so-called liberal, left-liberal and also activists like Harsh Mander, Hansraj Meena and these kind of people, Pratik Sinha and including me, myself. But he has now unfollowed everyone, including me. What I see is that it is a very strategic move, it is a message that whether you are left media, right media, this media, that media, does not matter. He is not following any media people. He is following Congress handles, he is following all the congress leaders. He is following all the Congress state units and other units. So that is what is focussing,” she said.
At the time of writing this report, the Congress scion was following accounts like those of economist Kaushik Basu, lawyer Karuna Nundy, former CEC SY Quraishi, university teacher Ashok Swain, junior actress Shruti Seth, senior journalist Javed Ansari, rich journalist Raghav Bahl, senior expert P. Sainath, junior author Sonia Faleiro, and Olacabs founder Bhavish Aggarwal among others. If the strategy explained by Sanjukta is correct, it appears that these people might have officially joined Congress.
One Fahad Ahmad, who goes by the Twitter handle “@FahadBombay” said that he sees this as a strategy of structural revamp and changes to which Basu agreed.
In another clip that has gone viral, Aaj Tak journalist Panini Anand explained how it does not matter who all Rahul Gandhi unfollows on Twitter, it is important he follows his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, constitution of India and the ‘Idea of India’, in that order.
He added how Rahul Gandhi has been anti-capitalist since UPA2 and hence he first ‘offended’ the industrialists. Anand is the same journalist who harassed his colleague for not writing anti-Modi articles. “You are an insect and I will do whatever I wish to. I will give responsibilities to donkeys and promote them because their ideology matches with mine. However, I will bring you to the streets and ruin your family. If you don’t mend your ways, I will beat you with shoes and get you murdered. Your corpse will be eaten by dogs. Neither Modi nor BJP will come to your rescue,” Panini Anand had reportedly threatened his colleague.
Keeping with the tradition of free speech and tolerance as shown by Pandit Nehru, who had founded National Herald, the consulting editor Sanjukta allowed a non-supporter of Congress too to speak. But he was soon thrown out of the discussion for not sticking to the principles of Nehruvian secularism. The evicted speaker later took to Twitter to register his protest.
Congress supporters removed me from speaker panel of their Space when I asked about their stand on lynching of Mahadalits by Islamists in Poornia. So intolerant. The 😢😢😢https://t.co/rr6rxBOOnL— Divya Kumar Soti (@DivyaSoti) June 1, 2021
To this, the flag-bearer of nonsense er… no nonsense, Basu called such behaviour of asking questions ‘whataboutery’ and termed everyone who asks such questions as ‘dumb’.
Any argument starting with "What about" is called whataboutery. Do not do whataboutery, you appear dumb. Yday on my @TwitterSpaces I gave mic to @DivyaSoti thinking he'd be able to hold a meaningful intellectual conversation. He started with 'what about'. RW is always dumb.— Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) June 2, 2021
This discussion hosted by Basu attracted a lot many BJP supporters too who joined the Twitter Spaces room to listen to her ideas. Although most BJP supporters were periodically sending out laughing emojis during the live discussions, many later conceded that they were impressed by the wisdom of Sanjukta who could explain Rahul Gandhi’s moves in a way Rahul Gandhi himself might not have been able to.
Basu later reiterated that the unfollows were a strong message to those who kept questioning Rahul Gandhi but never reported his activities.
Who was saying it doesn't matter? I think everybody's ego is hurt but they are not speaking openly 😄. I think @RahulGandhi has given a strong message. Those who keep saying where is Rahul Gandhi and never report his activity have been shown the door.— Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) June 2, 2021
Twitter user @Ruchhan, who has been hosting as interesting discussion as Basu, speaking to OpIndia said, “We have been hosting Space on myriad topics like importance of milk during suhag raat but Basu madam’s discussion on Rahul Gandhi’s strategy was an eye opening discussion. Inspired by the same, soon we will host a discussion on whether one should prefer constipation or diarrhoea, if at all one is to get IBS.”