Why did Mohan Bhagwat open his account on Twitter?
New Delhi, July 01: The use of social media in politics including Twitter and Facebook has dramatically changed. It provides direct channel to politicians for communicating, connecting to the people at a much lesser cost, yet with a kind of remarkable reach that traditional media cannot fathom.
In recent years, politicians have used twitter and facebook as the main platforms for key political actions. Whereas in the past, they used to press conferences or appear on the State-owned broadcaster's to share their plan of action.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who had once denounced the social media is no exception. The RSS chief on Monday made twitter debut by getting his Twitter handles verified, to everyone's surprise.
Besides Bhagwat, RSS leaders such as Suresh Joshi (@SureshBJoshi), Suresh Soni (@SureshSoni1925), Krishna Gopal (@KGopalRSS), V Bhagaiah (@BhagaiahV), Arun Kumar (@ArunKumRSS), and Anirudh Deshpande (@AniruddhaRSS) got their Twitter handles verified.
All the organisation leaders joined Twitter between May-July 2019 and are yet to tweet.
Why did Bhagwat join twitter
One of the main reasons for Bhagwat taking to Twitter according to a senior RSS functionary was to check impersonation. Several accounts were being run in the name of the RSS chief and hence a decision was taken to join Twitter, the functionary also said.
The RSS wanted to curb fake accounts of sarsangachalak Mohan Bhagwat, the general secretary Suresh Joshi, and the joint general secretaries, which sometimes used these unverified handles to spread fake news, diving the country.
The move is also part of a makeover of the organisation that's about to turn 95. The RSS chief seemed keen to re-model its image on more than one issue. It started by ditching its famous khaki shorts, and opting for long brown trousers. It was expected that the change in uniform would attract more young people.
Bhagwat had once denounced Social media
The reason given by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for not being on the social media is that such platforms can make people "egoist" and "self-centric".
Bhagwat, in an interview with Organiser and Panchjanya, called social media "useful instruments" that should be used as per their utility.
"While doing so we should also understand their limitations and side-effects as well. They can make you egoist and self-centric," he said.
He said posts on social media, referring to Facebook and Twitter, lead to misunderstandings, adding that several people had to delete their posts because of it. "Social media means me, my, mine and I have to express my opinion on each and everything," he added.
Why was there a complaint filed against Bhagwat?
Last year, a tweet attributed to Bhagwat claimed that "statues of all great personalities should be demolished."
This was posted by the handle @mohan_bhagwat_ on March 8. The fake account has now been suspended.
Subsequently, Rajasthan resident Narendra Kumar filed a complaint, asking the Jodhpur police commissioner to take action under provisions of the SC/ST Act.
The (RSS) clarified that RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat is not on Facebook or Twitter.
It claimed that attempts are being made to "vitiate the atmosphere" by posting sensitive and provocative messages through fake social media accounts.
This explanation came amid a complaint filed in a Jodhpur court dealing with SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) cases.
Established in 1925, the RSS started the process of modernisation in 2016, two years after the Narendra Modi government came to power.
The 6.5 lakh member strong right wing organisation has significant presence in the BJP-led central government. The RSS Twitter page has more than 1.3 million followers.