If you love politics and are pretty decently active on social media specially Twitter, then you must be aware that Twitter is the new battleground for arch rivals like Congress and BJP. BJP being the early adopters of the medium, have minted the positive and negative potential of social media. On one side, Narendra Modi has been praised for his social media presence, but on the other, it has also been said that there are a bunch of paid Twitter handles who tweet good things about BJP and vice versa about opponents. Congress has jumped into the game and Amaresh Misra is one such brand advocate of the party on Twitter.
So who is Amaresh Misra?
If we go by his Twitter bio he calls himself an author, historian, film writer and a politician. With a decent thousand followers, the congress supporter has been raising his voice whenever something bad has been said about his party or party president, and at the same time venting anger against the Modi government and to all his supporters. However, the tweets took an interesting turn when he started expressing using foul language and threats of murder, rape, etc. Vidyut does a detailed post on how vulgar the tweets have been and what kind of threats he has been tweeting to Modi and RSS supporters.
— Amaresh Misra (@AmareshMisra) March 16, 2013
Additionally, Firstpost yesterday shared a story where it is said that Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, RPN Singh has conveyed on Twitter that strict action should be taken on people who are spreading violence via online medium. However, he initially tweeted that he failed to recognize Amaresh until a Twitter user shared links that hinted on his being a member of UP and also a key aide to Digvijay Singh. The below tweet gives a hint of it.
— Utsav Mitra (@UtsavMitra) April 16, 2013
And another user shared a video link which referred to an interview of Amaresh, where he shares a lot and his closeness to Digvijay and Rahul.
— Emanin (@emanin) April 16, 2013
Is Amaresh Misra guilty?
Without a doubt, giving open threats online or offline is an offence, though I am not a legal expert. So the kind of tweets and the language used by Amaresh is highly unacceptable when he is a scholar and also a face of the ruling party.
But lets say tomorrow Amaresh gets rid of his identity, turns anonymous and continues to tweet the way he is doing now. Will people say the same thing to him then? The only option left would be raising a complaint against him on Twitter and get him blocked. But does that stop him from creating a new account? Why single out Amaresh? If one spends some time on trolling accounts of Modi supporters, use of foul language is common.
I am not supporting Amaresh or saying that his ways are right. But this is what 2014 elections is going to see more on social media. Opponent bashing, that we have witnessed for so many years in Parliament, in debates on TV, etc. have now found a new medium that is social media and anonymity makes it even more powerful.
Recently, IAMAI shared a report on how social media will have an impact on the 2014 elections. My belief is that social media will not have an impact like it did during the re-election of Barack Obama since barring a few political parties, most have misunderstood the medium. The only thing parties have understood is to create hardline supporters on Twitter who can sit and play the blame game. The recent trending of hashtags like #feku and #pappu is a small trailer of what we are going to witness with the center elections lined up in 2014.
People like Amaresh have given online reputation a new definition. A definition which is not acceptable but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is how all parties accept it going further.
Image courtesy: www.openthemagazine.com