RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Who Had Once Denounced Social Media Joins Twitter
India loves Twitter. With growing internet penetration, Indians from all strata have actively taken to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok and others that allow them to communicate with the world at large. In fact, so popular are sites like Twitter that even Rashtria Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, who had once said that he would never join social media, could not resist.
Bhagwat has chosen @DrMohanBhagwat as his handle and he as well as some other RSS leaders showed off tehir arrival on the micro-bogging site on Monday. The other leaders to get their handles verified include Krishna Gopal, Suresh Soni, Suresh Joshi, Arun Kumar, V Bhagaiah, Anirudh Deshpande.
Their arrival on the micro-blogging site is part of the organisation’s 95th anniversary celebrations. Though the organisation had joined Twitter on 2011 and has 1.3 million followers, the top leaders had so far not been active.
From 2016 onward, the RSS, which was established in 1925 and has worked as the ideological mentor of the Bhrataiya Janata Party, started a process of ‘modernisation’. One of the first steps taken in the direction was to change the decades old ‘khaki’ shorts, which served as the uniform for RSS members. The idea was to attract more youth to join the Sangh.
Twitter has become one of the biggest platforms for political and socio-cultural discourse as well as entertainment. With over 321 million monthly users worldwide, as per data revealed in 2019, the micro-blogging site has become an important and visible part of private and public communications.
With Bhagwat and the others joining Twitter, the organisation’s popularity on social media is likely to improve.
Nevertheless, Bhagwat’s arrival on Twitter is curious because as recently as last year, the Sanghchalak had publicly denounced social media for being all about “me, my, mine”.
During an interaction with the editors of ‘Organiser’ and ‘Panchjanya’, two RSS-affiliated publications, Bhagwat explained that people often try to assert their opinion on others with their social media posts and “even after knowing that my opinion is part of a collective whole”, without waiting for the collective opinion, “the person ends up talking about his personal beliefs on social media.”
He had said, Bhagwat observed, “Social media means me, my and mine and that I have to express my opinion on each and every issue.”
In June, India became the country with second largest number of internet users. Growing penetration and access is likely to make these platforms even more influential in the coming years.
Many on Twitter welcomed Bhagwat’s arrival.