"India's ‘Twitter Tendulkar' out for a duck in latest outing"...this is how the popular Twitter handle @janlokpal described Minister of State Shashi Tharoor' latest gaffe on Twitter.
Still reeling under the shockwaves of Jaipur, where the Congress 'embraced' social media and overjoyed by subsequent reports that he is indeed the captain of this social media onslaught of the Congress, Tharoor saw this article as his perfect chance to admonish Modi and at the same time glorify Kerala, the state he represents.
He Tweeted, "Fascinating statistical comparison between Kerala and Gujarat today...looks like an innings defeat for Narendra Modi." It was two birds with a single shot for the junior HRD minister!
The ‘only' glitch- the article that Tharoor shared, even stressing on ‘today' in his Tweet dates back to 2007!
Moreover, large chunk of the data that Tharoor cites as being of the present actually dates back to the 2001 period, the time when Modi just took over as CM.
So, how is it an innings defeat when the star player has not even entered the field? Kanchan Gupta packed a deadly punch when he Tweeted, "Amazed! MoS HRD Shashi Tharoor is circulating a six-year-old blog with decade old data. Innings defeat for you, Mr. Minister. Pity our kids."
Not surprisingly, Tharoor's Tweet drew sharp reactions across social media networks. Some asked whether it was the Congress that degenerated Tharoor or was it something else.
A BJP leader from Maharashtra Tweeted, "Interesting, Shashi Tharoor thinks it fit to ignore the Italian Marines case, which involves his state but presents fudged date to mock Gujarat."
Another Tweeter was even more blunt, "Ooops, Shashi Tharoor just got hit for a six by Narendra Modi without him even swinging his bat. Try something better next time."
People did not fail to notice that some of the date the wise minister shared dates back to the early 1990s, when his own Congress party was in power in Gujarat.
The more bolder netizens asked Tharoor to change his Twitter handle and share his indulgences as the sun sets (a minister of good times perhaps!).
On a more serious note, Tharoor's antics of social media are extremely unbecoming for a MP and Minister.
His lack of preparedness becomes even more worrying when it is a known fact that he is the ‘Mukhiya' of the Congress social media onslaught to counter that of the BJP, particularly Narendra Modi fans.
I was talking to a Modi supporter this morning who expressed relief saying that as long as there are ‘Social Media Generals' like Tharoor from 24 Akbar Road, the BJP and especially Modi have little to worry.
The desperation among the Congress ranks is now palpable. Tharoor's small Tweet exposes the panic, desperation, fear and concern among the Congress ranks among Modi's rising popularity among the youth, which is clearly manifested on a forum like social media.
The mindset of demolishing anything that is related to Gujarat and bringing Gujarat even where there is no need to do so clearly exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of one of India's largest and oldest family run corporations.
At another level it is also a pity that a person who has had the opportunity to study and work with some of the finest institutions across the world must get reduced to a dynast who is apt at spreading false and outdated information.
Perhaps Tharoor has not read what R Jagannathan wrote in Firstpost a while back where he described the Kerala model as the ‘Gujarat model in disguise.'
Tharoor obviously has not read what eminent academics like Arvind Panagariya, Jagdish Bhagwati or Bibek Debroy (who has a past association with Rajiv Gandhi foundation) have to say on Gujarat's growth.
One must also ask Tharoor if his actions on social media are becoming of a Minister of the Union of India. Additionally, is Tharoor even aware of the stand Modi took in Japan when he was asked about the Maruti standoff in Congress-ruled Haryana?
Perhaps serving outside Indian soil for years and now serving a family that is not even remotely connected to national interests has done this to the wise minister.
The Nazi propaganda machine believed that if a lie is repeated a hundred times, it becomes the ‘truth.' The Congress has been following this strategy vis-à-vis Modi for a decade, including in the Vidhan Sabha campaign last year but thankfully the people thought otherwise, believed in Modi's development and voted him into office.
(Follow Kishore Trivedi on Twitter- @KishoreTrivedi1)