Minister Shashi Tharoor evicts me from Twitter
Shashi Tharoor is a man of many talents and unique achievements. A successful author, he served as a UN Under-Secretary General for 5 years. More recently, he fought a spirited political battle to become a Congress MP from Kerala and was handpicked to become Minister of State for External Affairs. Now Shashi has got me ejected from Twitter.
On Oct 6, I started a Twitter account ‘Shashi Tharoor Fake’. The bio in this Twitter account had the word satire and the front page even linked to my satire blog techgirltalk.blogspot.com. The screen dump has been published above. Do you think anyone would mistake it for the real Shashi Tharoor because it says ShashiTharoorMP? If yes, I apologize for trying to impersonate a powerful Congress politician to satirize other politicians.
Shashi Tharoor has many achievements in his career. At only 22 years of age, he earned a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in USA. He has gone on to amass wealth and powerful contacts.
By contrast, I am a Mumbai-based full-time journalist who sometimes cannot afford a taxi to social appointments. Under a pseudonym, I write for techgoss to supplement my income. While I have job satisfaction, I don’t have money or power.
In that sense it is an unequal battle. He is armed with money and contacts. I write under a pseudonym fearing that I may lose my full-time employment for writing satire. To protect my identity, the Techgoss team even manages my blog and Twitter account. This is so my IP address cannot be compromised.
Perhaps the high point of my satire was when powerful national Indian business paper Mint was kind enough to give me a few paragraphs and link to my satire blog. The Economic Times did a follow piece on my irreverent satire (many say my sense of humour is just silly) and I was in satire heaven. Mostly my satire is restricted to smaller websites like Techgoss. Satire does not pay well but it enriches my soul. Hopefully, a few people laugh with me.
Shashi and his team have powerful friends at Twitter. The official Twitter blog (blog.twitter.com) on Oct 14 described Shashi as a Twitter Advocate. In that sense, he is a VIP even on Twitter.
My Twitter account Shashi Tharoor Fake, started on Oct 6, has built up about 100 followers. Even the United Nations Information Centre was following me. By Oct 23, Shashi Tharoor’s team had contacted Twitter in USA to suspend my account.
Shashi Tharoor’s aides never emailed me to ask for clarification. Till today, Twitter has not given me an explanation on why I am locked out. Perhaps, if they had emailed me before cutting me out, this article would never have seen light of the day. Hell hath no fury like a female satirist scorned.
I would like to clearly state that I am a big fan of Shashi Tharoor. Our country and polity needs such capable people. He has done for public service that I can do in 7 lifetimes.
Only if Shashi Tharoor and his team would not be so prickly to satire. In this sense, they are no different to leaders of the regional parties that they purport to despise.
Finally, you will ask me what kind of Tweets would force a Minister to clamp down on a satirist? Here are my very first few Tweets sent on Oct 6. The rest are of the same (bad?) quality.
Youth icon (like me) Rahul Gandhi remarked how Shashi Tharoor Ji is working hard for the country. Zee news reprt http://tinyurl.com/yc4bnr2
about 7 hours ago from web Super athelete PT Usha, I feel your pain abt lack of decent rooms. Once I spent first half of week at Taj and thn moved to Oberoi. Was bad!
about 10 hours ago from web Bofors mystery solved! Telecom Minister (DMK) Raja assured me no politician takes bribes. I trust Raja and so will not request new enquiry
about 10 hours ago from web Boss Krishna rang to say let 'Bofors be bygones' and to talk about Aussie Indians. But I want truth about Bofors. What is Krishana's Leela?
about 19 hours ago from web Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan tells me word Bofors is "unacceptable". She said the same when I twittered abt flying 'CattleClass'
about 19 hours ago from web Gandhi said Truth is my God. Bofors bribes bothering me. Meeting Madam today to press for Supreme Court enquiry to show no bribes taken
about 19 hours ago from web What did I do on Gandhiji Bday? Worked unlike you. Gymed at Oberoi, Pasta at Taj and then twittered. Gave media interviews. Work is worship
10:16 AM Oct 6th from web Cong Party kicked me out of hotel (Wtf?). System is suffocating me. Have begged, begged Techgirl (techgirltalk.blogspot.com) to speak for me
10:12 AM Oct 6th from web