In an unprecedented move in the history of Indian politics, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi reaches out to the citizens of India through Google+ Hangout for an extensive question answer session that lasted for nearly 2 hours.
If the common man of India is questioned about when was the last time he had seen a political leader then there would be a unanimous answer – 5 years ago during the time of elections. But last night, India witnessed a miracle. A Chief Minister took out time and made an effort to talk extensively with the citizens of India. The talk was not over a phone call nor on the idiot box but it was done over a Google+ Hangout.
The Google+ Hangout with Narendra Modi
For more than a month, Google and Narendra Modi’s digital team had been working hard to spread the word. Finally on 31st August, honourable Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi was live along with Bollywood Superstar, Ajay Devgan who was moderating the Google+ Hangout. Gujarat is celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and realising his vision of strong India was one of the core objectives of the Hangout.
Friends, am looking forward to exchanging ideas with you on G+ Hangout tomorrow on ‘Realising Swami Vivekananda’s vision of Strong India’!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 30, 2012
The hangout lasted for less than two hours and had a wide range of questions from different parts of India as well as from Indians residing in foreign countries.
The questions focused on prosperity of the country, scams, tourism, education, female foeticide, empowerment of youth, etc. It was a pleasure to watch and listen to Narendra Modi speak at length with the participants in the Hangout. The answers were elaborate and had constructive examples from Gujarat to back the CM’s claims unlike other politicians.
The Hangout also involved some light questions where people wanted to know about the famous “Modi Kurta”, his diet and how is he able to keep such a balanced life. Narendra Modi replied to each and every question and insisted that if Gujarat can be the most progressive state in India then other states can evolve too.
Social Media Impact
For the last 10 days, we have seen the Government Of India taking rampant steps to block social media blaming it to be the reason for spreading rumours and creating tensions. Sadly, the GOI has failed to understand social media.
But here is a CM from Gujarat who is not only actively present on social media but has understood the crux of it. While the government was busy blocking sites, he was the only political leader who had spoken against the blocking of Twitter accounts and websites.
As a common man, I join the protest against crackdown on freedom of speech! Have changed my DP. ‘Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan.’
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2012
Social media is not rocket science and with this Google+ Hangout, the CM has proved that you need the intent first to be popular on social media.
Alas! GOI never understood this and the CM of Gujarat grabbed this opportunity with both hands. The Hangout which has already broken some records on YouTube (numbers will be published later) gave a great opportunity for the CM to interact with the youth.
Since morning, Twitter has been buzzing with 5 hashtags related to the hangout and Modi trending aggressively while the Hangout was going on. The below screen grab which was taken at 10:43 PM last night, gives you a quick snapshot. The trends were the same after the Hangout finished.
The Hangout is a win-win situation for both Google and Narendra Modi. Google has been trying hard to break in the Indian social media space. Earlier it had planned such hangouts with celebrities and cricket players but this was a first with an Indian politician. The Hangout was a great strategic move by the CM at a time when the country is debating the viability of mid-term polls.
The talk that lasted for less than 2 hours shows what the CM is like in person, what has he done for Gujarat till date and what can he do for the country if he is supported. Moreover, his move to approach the common man via the latest technology has shown the world that here is a man who can evolve with time. Our country and the youth of India want such doers who back their claims with figures and constructive examples.
Narendra Modi has flagged his PM’s campaign with this Hangout on social media when the GOI is busy saving its face in the coalgate scam. For now the CM of Gujarat has scored full marks on every aspect.
— Gul Panag (@GulPanag) August 31, 2012
Do let us know what are your thoughts about this move and would you like to see him as our next PM. The emotions have been high on Twitter and I found this tweet which sums up the success of the hangout:
I am back, because my 85 year old Mom was using my laptop to watch
#ModiHangout. “Yeh Beta PM banega”, she says.
— R.S. Bains (@HerrBains) August 31, 2012
And here’s the amazing Hangout if you have missed it: