It is happening for the first time in India that the Prime Minister's adviser will reply on Twitter to the queries of journalists. This clearly reflects the popularity of Twitter among some politicians, but certainly not among those who would like to interact with the press through traditional means like press conferences only.
SOCIAL NETWORKING sites have been growing in popularity very fast. Now people from various sections are trying their best to use these platforms for their benefit. We have seen politicians making good use of such sites especially, Twitter. It is due to this popularity that the government will be holding its first ever press conference on Twitter, where the PM's adviser, Sam Pitroda
would be replying to the questions of journalists.
Though many people would call it a good initiative, given its power to remove the communication deficit between people and the government, yet there are many people who won't buy the idea. Dr. Prem Singh, general secretary for Socialist Party believes that India
is yet not ready for unconventional initiatives. “This mode of press conference is not proper for India. In the west it is okay, but not in India,” Mr Singh said. But he also agrees to the popularity of such sites, where news can be disseminated in seconds. He added, “Such kind of platforms spread news across the larger section of the society through minimum effort.”
With politicians like Mamata Banerjee, Omar Abdullah and Narendra Modi making good use of Twitter, it would not be surprising if there are many other politicians who would take to this initiative to spread their views and news. In fact, it was Modi who last month via Google Plus participated in a live chat session with people from all over the world and replied to their queries in the best manner possible.
A journalist with The Sunday Indian, Shiv Sunny said, “Through Twitter, more and more people would be aware of the news. But there are drawbacks as well. It is an excellent way to communicate with the educated people, but not to win votes.” Mr Sunny while referring to voters from rural areas, who constitute the major chunk of Indian population added: “They don't have access to Twitter.”
The PM's adviser is scheduled to handle questions today for a session of 45 minutes between 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm. But can we call this a press conference? It must be for the same reason that the adviser later tweeted, rephrasing it as a 'Twitter session'. Irrespective of what it is called, people would get a chance to read an interaction that takes place live on Twitter - certainly something new for India.