We have all read about how, Facebook is growing in India. But it seems that now following Obama, even the Indian government is trying to make its presence felt in the social media. The most recent addition to the list of Indian political leaders trying to connect with the one billion populace of India, of whom only 5 per-cent can be on internet, has been our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. After reading a Reuters article on how our PM has been spotted on Facebook, I could hardly contain my curiosity and ended up finding Dr Singhs’ profile on Facebook. What I found looked authentic enough, though I have a few questions.
Since Government officials are barred from the use of social networks, how did Dr Singh actually get around to doing this? Also somehow the picture of our Prime Minister, updating his status on Facebook, while at work, just doesn’t quite ring the right bell in my mind. It would be interesting however, if he does come up with a “How well do you know Manmohan Singh quiz”
Also why isn’t the national portal being used for this? According to me, the Indian government could have taken inspiration from the White House and established a Government page on Facebook. Sooner or later this needs to happen as a lot of business decision makers and practically the entire urban youth is on these sites and this segment is quite important for the government to connect with.
A social media element which can be mashed up with the national portal to enable the citizens to make maximum use of the services can also play a very important role in promoting democracy in its true sense, in the world’s largest democracy.
However, to summarize, whether it is the Government’s PR machinery which has made this page or Dr Singh himself, what is heartening is that a change is happening and sooner or later, the day won’t be far when the government utlises social media more actively to communicate with the people.
As for now what next Dr Singh? A twitter account? Infact Shashi Tharoor recently tweeted that the PM had enquired about what was twitter. Which shows his interest in twitter as well.
In traditional Facebook style” I Like This”.