Monday, April 19, 2010
Netizen's drive Support Tharoor campaign
Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who resigned on Sunday in the wake of his alleged links to the row pertaining to Indian Premier League's Kochi franchise, has managed to generate a lot of online support for himself.
Tweets were buzzing all day, and as the day progressed, a set of people even opened a page called supporttharoor.org.
Kenney Jacob, an online supporter, has been a very active campaigner and feels that Tharoor is 'nothing but a victim.' He spoke to rediff.co's Vicky Nanjappa about the page, and how Tharoor is trending online today:
This is his account:
"The page was opened by an online community of people, who thought they should protect a really different kind of politician, Member of Parliament and minister in India. He is really a breath of fresh air for Indian politics.
The response for the campaign has been tremendous. The keyword 'tharoor' is trending on twitter. The supporttharoor.org website went down due to heavy traffic for some time. The administrator had to tweak the server to handle the pouring load. As of now, there are 2,900 pledges and it's increasing at the rate of around 5 to 10 pledges per minute.
Tharoor has been a victim and his resignation was a forced one. There is no evidence to suggest that he did anything wrong. Even the finance ministry has given him a clean chit. I am sure he will be back in his post once the dust settles down. It was pure media nonsense that caused all this.
For the first time in the history of politics, we have a chance to know what a minister is doing. I think it should be made mandatory that ministers maintain twitter accounts and also a blog that publishes their day-to-day activities.
I see the IPL-Tharoor incident as a showdown between the Gujarat lobby and Tharoor. An IPL team brings crores of business opportunity to a state. Maybe some people were offended when a small state won the bid. It's pure business and nothing else.
Yes, Tharoor enjoyed a lot of support online and there is a reason for that. Non-netizens get only whatever manipulated news that the corporate media publishes. A maid in my house thinks Tharoor is a womaniser and is going to get married for the third time. This is the kind of nonsense that some media publishes.
On the Internet, you get a lot of opinions and different versions of the same story. It's not easy to fool a netizen. So people like Tharoor will get a lot of support from the netizens.
We want to extend our support to Dr Tharoor who has been victimised by some powerful vested interests. We want to protest against the unfair media bias in reporting. We don't want to lose an effective minister for some lobbyists and media with vested interests.
On the April 24, we plan a grand welcome for him. We will welcome him to his home constituency Thiruvananthapuram, which elected him with a margin of 100,000 votes. We just want to let him know that we all are with him always."
A statement released by the founders of the website said that Tharoor's supporters came up with the idea of this website over a a cup of coffee. The people involved split the work among themselves and a social networking website helped them setup the website. The entire project was executed in almost 20 hours. In the last 24 hours the website has registered 4000 pledges.