Not tech savvy, but PM's on Facebook

Keeping pace with times


In the course of a discussion on NDTV, Singh’s former media adviser Sanjaya Baru said though the prime minister is not a netizen, there is a Facebook site which is regularly updated: so he is very much on Facebook.

But Baru had no idea as to who is updating the site. Manmohan’s Facebook site features videos of speeches and links to media clippings. The latest are pictures of his with the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy family. There is also a profile of Singh with a picture of him in his trademark blue turban.

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who has been extensively using the site Twitter, said the prime minister had once asked him what the site was about and how it worked. “I told him at that point — look, which politician is going to resist an audience, in those days, 24,000 or something,” he said.

“He (prime minister) laughed and said, ‘of course, you should not’ and today I have an audience of 84,000 and tomorrow it might be more... no politician would wisely turn down an audience of so many that he could reach,” Tharoor said.

The minister said his remarks on the site are a combination of personal and official comments. “But in none of my 1,000 tweets have I said anything which I could not have said publicly or that in anyway embarrasses or compromises the government.”
Prime Minister Singh is the latest among India's plugged-in generation to join the social networking site.

Politicians are increasingly making use of social networking sites and weblogs to connect with the country's growing young and computer-literate generation.

Most politicians, including leader of opposition Lal Krishna Advani, write personal blogs. Young parliamentarians like Rahul Gandhi maintain profiles on Facebook.

Said Tharoor: "What amused me is the number of politicians who have come up to me and expressed curiosity about it from both sides of the aisle: opposition as well as government.”

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