| Welcome to Global Village Space

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

India: Government running through tweets?

Sushma Swaraj, India’s External Affairs Minister, is famous for dispensing justice through the twitter handle. She is known for her personal and quick turnover time for giving help on visa and other issues through tweets. It now appears that her administrative generosity is backfiring on her.

On Saturday 7 January, she helped out an Indian man based in the United States whose wife needed a passport. She asked the secretary of CPV and Overseas lndian Affairs, DM Mulay, to help end the couple’s “banwas”.

The next day on Sunday, she received a tweet from another man who also wanted his wife to join him to end his separation. But, this time he wanted Sushma’s help to transfer her job in the railway’s department from Jhansi to Pune where he works.

She gave him an acerbic response, that she would have suspended him and his wife for making transfer requests on social media.

If you or your wife were from my Ministry and such a request for transfer was made on twitter, I would have sent a suspension order by now. https://t.co/LImngQwFh6

However, Sushma forwarded the request to the Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who said he would ask the chairperson of the railway board to “take suitable action”.

Last year, the minister was applauded in the Pakistani and Indian media when after the Uri attack and tensions between India and Pakistan in September, a Pakistani girl, Aliya Harir, requested Sushma Swaraj for her safe return back to Pakistan.


Sushma Response tweeted was

It is an interesting indication of the times of the role that social media plays in running countries. One the one hand leadership faux pas are more likely to happen; from President-elect Trump’s twitter rants against China to Khwaja Asif, Pakistan’s Defence Minister’s threat to Israel over Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. On the other hand, it means the common man has rapid and direct access to his leaders.