Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been back from Astana, Kazakhstan since June 9, but his Twitter feed since has been largely devoted to the forthcoming International Yoga Day on June 21, with videos beautifully explaining the various ‘asanas’.
The latest tweet is also devoted to @SriSri, the godman Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to whom he seems devoted – and vice-versa, naturally – on the power of yoga.
“Yoga is the way to realize the ultimate truth referred to in Vedanta and universal energy field in Quantum physics,” says the introduction to Ravi Shankar’s piece. That particular tweet has already been “liked” 6200 times and retweeted 2400 times.
But if you sense a certain dissonance – strife would be too strong a word – in the PM’s timeline, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Since he returned from Astana, where he met Chinese president Xi Jinping and a variety of Central Asian leaders, the PM’s social media team has been extraordinarily quiet.
In Twitter terms, it’s the equivalent of committing social suicide.
There’s nothing, for example, even on the PM’s trip to the US to meet Donald Trump on June 26, even though the White House has announced it.
As for the farmer’s agitation that has swept Madhya Pradesh in the last week and in which five farmers have been killed – not a single word.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ decision to spend more than Rs 30,000 crores on waiving farmer loans? Nothing from the PM, either on @narendramodi or on @PMOIndia.
So when Twitter wanted to know when the PM had demonstrated compassion towards the toiling farmer, some of its constituents had to search Google.
“I hope the Centre provides the assistance that the farmers of MP require and supports the MP government in providing timely relief,” the PM had tweeted. Ah, there you are.
Except the tweet was more than three years old, from March 4, 2014, before he became prime minister of India.
Perhaps the PM has legacy on his mind. After all, the fourth year of his government has begun. The bell has begun to toll. So on the home page of the Narendra Modi app is a survey that you are invited to take, to “Rate Your Government.”
When answering the questions (some given below) the survey taker has to “agree” or “disagree” in various permutations and combinations. You get the picture.
The Modi Government has been bold & decisive in tackling challenges
The Modi Government is an honest & incorruptible government
The Modi Government cares for the citizens & is always there for the citizens
The Modi Government is improving infrastructure for a better future
Modi Government’s efforts have led to a rise in India’s standing globally
The Modi Government is ensuring farmer welfare
Do you feel that speed of working & implementation has improved in Modi Government?
And finally, the piece de resistance: After 3 years of Modi government, are you feeling more optimistic than before about the future of India?
But with the prime minister – or his social media team – so seemingly morose, question is what are Mr Modi own views on these matters?