The country’s largest and one of the oldest political party is facing the heat from media and social media for its students wing – National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). Formed in 1971, the student’s wing came into the limelight yesterday for its Mumbai president, Suraj Thakur being suspended. The party informed that the suspension was due to the misbehaviour of the president but according to a story by NDTV, the suspension is for allegedly dancing naked at a party function in the city last month.
The incident took place during the coaching event of the NSUI in the Kandivali suburb of Mumbai on the night of April 14. It is being said that Suraj was drunk during the function. However, Nigam Bhandari, the Mumbai in-charge and Secretary of the NSUI, has confirmed that there is no proof that Suraj was in an inebriated state or had indulged in any vulgar dance. Along with Suraj, NSUI’s general secretary Vicky Vhatkar and a national delegate Hitendra Gandhi – have also been suspended for alleged indiscipline at the meet.
The interesting fact is not why Suraj was suspended but what caught my eyes was the use of social media for communication. NSUI, which has a reasonably good presence on popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, used both the networks wisely to clear its position on the matter. The Facebook page, that has more than 12K fans, made the first post yesterday stating that the party has suspended Suraj on grounds of indiscipline. However, the content didn’t elaborate much on what led to this suspension.
Speaking at the Big Tent India event in Delhi, Chief Minster of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah had made a valid point that, “Bad News spreads fast on social media.” And the same happened for NSUI, in no time Suraj Thakur was trending on Twitter.
Today’s issues – 1. Food Security Bill. 2. Suraj Thakur. 3. House adjourned.Pertaining to – 1. Roti. 2. Kapda 3. Makaan.
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) May 7, 2013
Those who missed Suraj Thakur’s dance yesterday, plz dont worry. His dance will be contiNUDE after one month suspention.
—Not Real Arnab G (@justicearnab) May 7, 2013
The NSUI Twitter account that had posted similar Facebook updates as tweets for its 1400 plus followers couldn’t do much. The trolls had a good time and the matter was big enough to damage the reputation of the party at least online. However, after 21 hours NSUI released a press release explaining the entire issue of suspension and also dismissing the reports of the alleged ‘nude party’ which had been trending since morning.
NSUI expresses deep shock & concern over the way Media/SM has sensationalized the suspension of its Office Bearers. twitter.com/nsui/status/33…
— NSUI (@nsui) May 7, 2013
But wasn’t that too late? The first step of updating fans and followers on social media was a thought of move but missing out the ‘Why’ led to the whole mess. Even though the party circulated the real facts, the delay of 21 hours is late in today’s age especially when the opponents are also on the same medium eyeing for such incidents to blow out of proportion. Time for NSUI to become more active and proactive on social media.