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Indian MP's Tweeting Makes Him Some Enemies

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 6 2010

Lydia Polgreen has the story on a fascinating case of a politician's embrace of social media running smack into society's existing mores. Indian member of Parliament and junior minister of foreign affairs Shashi Tharoor's fervent Twitter postings are generating tsk tsks from several corners of the Indian establishment.

Polgreen's piece sort of bunches together all manner of vague disapproval, so we get criticisms from observers about Tharoor's breach of government hierarchy -- a tweet about visa requirements for tourists seemed to run counter to the going thinking on the matter within government -- to the sense that Tharoor, who has spent years working abroad, is guilty of "elitism" in simply using Twitter. But one suspects that the Indian media might be the source of a lot of the guff directed Tharoor's way, angry that, as Polgreen puts, the MP is routing around them and their traditional role as mediators between the government and the public. It's members of the press, for one thing, that seem to have awarded Tharoor his nickname: "Twitteroor."