In a surprising turn of events, Ashok Shrivastav, a DD news journalist, discovered yesterday that the official twitter account of the Jammu and Kashmir Governor (Office of J&K Governor) only followed one individual- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Yesterday, Shrivastav had shared a screenshot of the twitter account Office of J&K Governor, belonging to governor Satya Pal Malik. Using the screenshot, Ashok Shrivastav had claimed that the twitter account of the J&K governor was following just one account, which belonged to the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. The strange thing about the situation was that there weren’t any other accounts that the Governor’s handle was following. The account was not following any Indian individual or government official including the Prime Minister or the President of India.
क्या ये- @jandkgovernor जम्मू-कश्मीर के राज्यपाल सतपाल मलिक का असली एकाउंट है ?
अगर हाँ तो इसे कौन हैंडल करता है ?
जम्मू-कश्मीर के राज्यपाल भारत के राष्ट्रपति या प्रधानमंत्री को फॉलो नहीं करते, वो सिर्फ एक व्यक्ति को फॉलो करते हैं और वो है पाकिस्तान के प्रधानमंत्री इमरान खान। pic.twitter.com/oTDHMo51Lu
— Ashok Shrivastav (@ashokshrivasta6) April 29, 2019
After Shrivastav’s tweet thread in which the Prime Minister’s Office, the Home Minister’s Office, the President of India and others were tagged went viral, the account of the J&K governor unfollowed Imran Khan. This action no doubt occurred due to the sheer embarrassment faced by his office. As of now the account is not following anyone.
तो जम्मू-कश्मीर के राज्यपाल @jandkgovernor के ट्विटर हैंडल ने #पाकिस्तान के प्रधानमंत्री इमरान खान को अनफॉलो किया।
"कुछ नहीं हो सकता" "सब चलता है" के माइंडसेट से निकालिये, आवाज़ उठाइये बदलाव होगा।
एक मित्र ने यह खबर दी,रात मैंने ट्वीट किया और सुबह नतीजा सामने है।#RightToTruth pic.twitter.com/2aR1GJcS37
— Ashok Shrivastav (@ashokshrivasta6) April 30, 2019
Ashok Shrivastav, in his first tweet, has raised some serious questions. He wondered if this is the real account of J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik and if it actually is, then who’s handling it.
Being the official account of a public figure, it is possible that the Governor himself does not handle the account. The account is used for all public communications, and hence as is the norm, the account is possibly run by someone in the office of the Governor. Nonetheless, there can be no excuse for such a slip. Irrespective of who runs the account, it is the official account of the governor, and therefore such a slip should never have occurred.
Belonging to such an important Indian institution, it is strange that the only account the J&K Governor’s handle followed, happened to be of the Prime Minister of enemy nation. Moreover, the fact that the account belongs to the Governor of a crucial state like Jammu and Kashmir makes the situation all the more sensitive in light of the on-going tensions and terrorist attacks by Pakistan in the state.
No doubt one is at liberty to follow whomever they want, and it is possible that Imran Khan’s was the only account being followed by the Governor to keep an eye on him. But there are other ways to keep an eye on his handle, like making a list with Imran Khan in it or switching on notifications for Imran Khan. The straightforward method employed in this case was terrible for the optics.
The Governor must take this seriously. If it wasn’t his doing, he must look into it and find out if there was an attempt by somebody working for him to embarrass him in this way. If indeed there was, it is a cause of concern. Be that as it may, the fact that it was flagged off and stopped before the situation got out of hand should come as a relief.