Hit by a high voltage media campaign against his ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked a group of social media users not to respond to negative criticism and instead use the medium in a “positive and constructive” manner. Modi, who is under attack for his silence on the recent controversies involving senior BJP leaders, urged his supporters to indulge in action rather than discussions.
While addressing nearly 100 hand-picked social media activists from across the country at an informal interaction at his residence hosted by MyGov, a Government of India platform, Modi, one of the most popular leaders on Twitter, asked them to “ignore negative criticism,” according to those who attended the programme on Wednesday.
“He said that there is lot of positive energy and we need to channelise it. The PM said we have to take constructive criticism and ignore the negative one,” Arvind Gupta, BJP’s national technology head, who also attended the interaction, said.
According to another participant, Modi, who had used social media effectively for his campaign ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections, said that “if all the abuses I receive are printed on paper, the entire premises of the Taj Mahal will be covered.” The Prime Minister also told the activists that he has never blocked anyone on his Twitter handle for criticising him.
Another thing that the PM wanted the social media users to refrain from abusive language. The PM was quoted as saying: “Friends, please display restraint in language and conduct. We can always put across our point of view in proper language.” He added that the power of technology and social media has forced mainstream media to change its agenda and it was this power of social media that demanded a responsible behaviour.
The participants included two young women — Temsutula Imsong and Darshika — who took social media route to clean four ghats in Varanasi, Modi’s constituency in Uttar Pradesh and R Kamath, who had contributed the slogan “we have to be warriors not worriers” used by Modi in one of his “Mann ki Baat’ programmes.
Pointing out how citizens’ participation is getting democratic, Modi, during the one hour-long interaction, also asked the activists to give more thrust to action than discussions. “He expressed happiness that the discussions have begun to translate into action among the youngsters,” Gupta said.