Thursday, May 29, 2014

When Twitter became Suffocating

Not a week has passed since Narendra Modi assumed office and the level of scrutiny over his decisions in this brief period almost borders on the insane.
Consider the few decisions he has taken -

1. Portfolio allocation - Smriti Irani's educational qualifications, Arun Shourie's non-inclusion in the Cabinet to name two.
2. Ordinance to bring in Nripendra Mishra - one suggestion goes so bizarre as to make Nripendra Mishra a minister in the PMO to circumvent the TRAI Act hitch. Another says the govt could've waited till Parliament convened & given their numbers, that this Amendment could be passed comfortably and that, till then, Principal Sec to PM not required!
3. Initiation of discussion on Article 370

I'm already gasping for breath after these 3. And it's now what - 3 days since Modi took the oath? I'm all for informed citizenry, opinions, constructive criticism and all that, but the sheer volume of rhetoric involved is mind-boggling. I'm not even going to compare this with the amount of scrutiny any prior government had to face (no, I'm not going to say UPA). It's great to see people reading up stuff (me included), but what's happening is that folks are running around like headless chickens.
Issue 1 raised by X (usually a "neutral" person and/or disgruntled BJP supporter and/or "liberal" and/or well-wishing/highly-informed/rules-talking armchair intellectuals), 2-3 articles linked. Then the inevitable archive-digging (this is the in-vogue timepass these days - dig up people's tweets that seemingly contradict/are not entirely in line with their current position - then thumb your nose and laugh). This is then used to insinuate that the current government is no different & that they too go back on their own words.

What's most saddening is how hard core supporters who waited for many years to see Modi become PM haven't been able to wait for a few months, nay days, to see what he does. What's left is a virtual deluge on one's timeline. These aren't even people like priyankac19 or gsurya, but supporters (at least those who claim to be) that are onto Modi's decisions within minutes.

I, for one, hope Modi & his team aren't spending too much time reading tweets and instead, using it only to disseminate information. He needs at least a solid 6 months to get the basics on track. I'm sure there isn't too much "citizen-outreach", "feedback mechanism", etc needed to get the basics right. Constructive noise might be constructive, but it is still noise. And right now, it is becoming unbearable.