I don’t know if we can call ourselves an ecosystem. We’re certainly not the traditional type of ecosystem that formed around the Congress governments for decades. But we’re the new fourth estate, a fourth-estate mostly comprising of “Twitter trolls” who are what they are because a compromised media won’t do its job properly. Our allegiance is to a set of principles and ideas, and to a lesser extent, a political outfit that somewhat espouses similar ideas. 2019 is less than a year away, and this is something we must keep in mind each time we descend into the narrative-setting battlefield that is Twitter.
Were there any lapses on Sushma Swaraj’s part? Of course there were. A minister, whether seated in her office in New Delhi or travelling in Belgium, must know what her department is up to. That is only fair. But Sushma Swaraj is not a novice or a stranger to governance. Think about it. Do you really believe she was in the loop, she had every fact at her disposal, and the hurried decision to transfer Vikas Mishra was hers?
Before you think I’m an apologist, let me make something very clear- I’m not absolving her of any blame. She should have known what was going on under her nose. But nobody is perfect. Lapses do happen. How many of those pointing fingers at Sushma Swaraj can confidently say that had they been in her place, they would have executed Prime Minister Modi’s dynamic foreign policy as successfully as she has? This is somebody who has been part of the movement from the time of the stalwarts, somebody who has earned her place, who has rescued thousands of Indians, and made a mark for herself on the global stage. Lapses take place sometimes, but with her, they are a rarity. We have to give her that much credit.
But, that is no reason to abide by everything she says. That is no reason to follow her, or follow anyone else for that matter, blindly. When someone messes up, it’s good that we call their bluff. Unlike supporters of the Congress or the AAP, we are not brain-dead slaves. Our allegiance to ideas and principles is more important than any leader or party. And I’m always happy when we bring issues to the fore, and use social media effectively to bring about the change we wish to see. We could have done the same here. What was the need for some “supporters” to bring her kidneys to this discussion?
When she chose to highlight these tweets, she faced a backlash. Some people said she was throwing the party’s supporters under the bus. Some supporters they must have been, to bring Sushma Swaraj’s kidneys to this controversy. My only problem with her having highlighted these tweets is that it might have been strategically inept. The likes of Barkha Dutt grabbed this opportunity with both hands, painted us all with a broad brush, and began sermonizing us. They intend to drive a wedge between the party and its support system online, and believe me, if you cannot see it, they will succeed.
When the likes of Barkha Dutt get into such a debate and support your minister after you have had a disagreement with her and start preaching to you, you know it’s time to put your differences aside, stand by your minister, and show them the mirror. Both you and I know how much people like Barkha care if Sushma Swaraj is under attack. They belong to the same ilk as Sunetra Choudhary for god’s sake, the woman who was happy when Narendra Modi came down with swine flu! Irrespective of your differences with Sushma Swaraj, you cannot possibly allow these depraved individuals to take advantage of those differences, to drive a wedge between you and the party.
Dear @SushmaSwaraj it is odious what you have been subjected to. But Ma'am imagine if this happens to you, with all your authority and influence and as a superb minister, think what happens to the rest of us – especially independent and outspoken women who fight on regardless https://t.co/D5sAD4Zeeh
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 24, 2018
Narendra Modi has swine flu- i don't know why but this news is really exciting me
— sunetra choudhury (@sunetrac) October 30, 2009
Don’t put yourself through this. Bury the hatchet already, and show these low-lives the mirror. Sushma Swaraj is too tall a leader. This is a battle you cannot win anyway. But more importantly, this is a battle India will lose if you isolate yourself thus, one year before 2019. Remember, there was never a 160 club, or a 180 club for that matter. These were lies that those who supposedly stand with Sushma Swaraj today spread about people like her in 2013, so that we would be a divided house. But we didn’t let all that come in the way. We came together, we cooperated, we fought and we won. And we will have to come together, set our difference aside, and fight together again if we want to win 2019.
Sushma Swaraj is already working to rectify the issue everyone was upset about. And we know how Sushma Swaraj functions, the issue will be rectified. Meanwhile, let us bury the hatchet and come together. This is not the right time for the family to tear apart, that’s exactly what the other side wants.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) June 25, 2018