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India: Narendra Modi reveals secrets of social media success

July 29, 2013

New Delhi, July 28 (ANI): In an exclusive interview with Asian News International (ANI), Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has revealed the importance of social media in creating awareness among voters in the country.

Question: Mr. Modi there has been a lot of buzz in recent days on the use of Social Media by you as well as by the BJP as an organization. What role do you see Social Media playing in this campaign?

If one would recall, during one of my recent speeches I had observed that this is the Age of Knowledge and Information. No single individual or organization enjoys a monopoly on possession and dissemination of knowledge and information. It is imperative to listen and learn as much as pronounce, in this Digital age. Thus it becomes requisite for every Indian Leader to be able to have a two-way communication with the people, especially our Youth. Social Media to me is the most powerful channel for accomplishing this. I was recently in Pune to meet with the students of Fergusson College. I was pleasantly surprised over the seriousness with which Youth responded to my request through Social Media for ideas and suggestions for that speech. I am happy to note that the BJP as an organization is looking to creatively harness Social Media to crowd source ideas on how we can change and transform India for the better.

Question: Mr. Modi could you share instances where you have been able to experience the power of Social Media the most?

It is important for us to expand our definition of what constitutes Social Media. To me it is not just about Twitter and Facebook. For instance, I am amazed at how YouTube as a medium of video sharing has made e-Learning accessible to so many people. Or when I look at an application like WhatsApp and how simple it is to use, one begins to appreciate the power of this medium. Often the first reports when a disaster strikes or an unfortunate incident happens, are received via one of these Social Media channels. I see the real power of Social Media come through, during such moments of crisis. Recently during the Uttarakhand disaster I was pleasantly surprised at the positive role played by Social Media in bringing home news of the missing to their loved ones.

Question: Mr. Modi many of your critics allege that you have a massive PR machinery that manages your Social Media presence to carry out your propaganda. What would you say to them?

My humble request to everybody is to not insult and insinuate the common man, the youth of India, who have found a medium through which they are able to make their voice heard. It is important for us to understand the nature of this medium. It is a medium of equals. No single individual or organization can control it or manipulate it. We must respect this basic nature of this medium. Let me give you the example of a recent incident when a restaurant in Mumbai had to suffer due to rank intolerance of the Congress party. The Sales Receipt of that restaurant was shared on Social Media by some conscious citizens. It soon went viral. It came to the attention of one newspaper, which published a story on it. I merely added my voice to express solidarity on this issue, with all those venting their frustration and despair on it, through Social Media. This is the nature of the Medium. It is essentially about listening, sharing and dialoguing. Read more in News Track India.

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