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Rahul’s tweet on Yoga Day: Bad publicity can be better than no, or poor, media visibility ?

By IndianMandarins- 22 Jun 2019


Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi has of late been keen on optics though for several awkward reasons. He tweeted on Friday appending a couple of pictures of Army Dog Unit under the caption ‘New India’. This has, indeed, tried to take a dig though in a roundabout way at the virtual cult that the ruling BJP has been able to build over the years around PM Narendra Modi and his pet programme Yoga Day which has attracted appreciation from across the world.


Rahul’s tweet with the picture of Army dog squad canines going through yoga motions alongside the Jawans of the unit on PM’s favourite Yoga Day, June 21, has greatly ruffled feathers in political quarters. The intended pun pulled by Congress leader has obviously been directed against the formidable rivals.


The people in power corridors say that RG’s tweet might have spurred from the fact that BJP appears to have grabbed most of the hot national issues from the hands of its opponents, leaving almost none for Congress.  


Yet, the tweet has become a media sensation at a time when the grand old party has been boycotting television debates by withdrawing its spokespersons and senior leaders from TV channels. Congress blames most media channels of habitually fawning over the BJP and the Government led by it and treating the Opposition, or mainly the Congress, with visible bias.


Thus, the Congress president has tried via his tweet to bounce back and possibly seize and dominate the media scene, courtesy a TV spectacle like Yoga Day, while his party is ostensibly shunning the TV channels for past few weeks or so.


More than being the brainchild of Rahul the tweet appears to be a salvo fired by the communications department of the Congress. The department has been drawing flak under the stewardship of Congress leader from Haryana Randeep Singh Surjewala for its weak media strategy and poor outreach. This is more so following the crushing defeat of the party in the recent Lok Sabha polls.


The Congress tweet clearly tries not only to toggle along millions of other Yoga Day posts on twitter but is also meant to send the BJP in a tizzy by scoring more hits and beating it in its favourite social media game. This is so while being unmindful of the savage troll that the Congress leader has to come to face by now for his quite controversial tweet. It has been castigated by top BJP Ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah among others.


The idea behind Rahul’s tweet has apparently been taken from the brand name of an old British music company HMV, or His Master’s Voice.


Rahul has indeed been mercilessly trolled. Yet, it appears that the idea behind his apparently bizarre move is that even bad publicity can be better than no, or poor, media visibility as has been the case with the Congress in recent times.

(By Abid Shah)

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