Governance Now Masterminds

On social media-savvy agri min’s tweet feed, Mandsaur is missing

Radha Mohan Singh discusses weed problem in Kerala a day after six farmers were killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh

GN Bureau | June 8, 2017


#twitter   #agriculture ministry   #Radha Mohan Singh   #protesting farmers   #Mandsaur   #Digital India   #Narendra Modi  


Given prime minister Narendra Modi's penchant for social media, every ministry and department has focused on Twitter, Facebook et al to reach out to the voter, and so has the agriculture ministry, but the protesting farmers don't seem to be aware of that. On the other hand, the official Twitter handle of the agricultural department of the agriculture ministry and the union agricultural minister’s own Twitter feed are yet to make any reference to the killing of six farmers in Madhya Pradesh.

When the police opened fire on Tuesday at Mandsaur farmers who were demanding higher price for their produce and waiver of agricultural loan, union agricultural minister Radha Mohan Singh was in Imamganj, Gaya where he addressed a NABARD programme.
 
The minister could have quickly taken to Twitter to help calm frayed nerves, but he didn’t. Instead his next tweet said he will be addressing a press conference on Swachta Pakhwada, cleanliness fortnight.
 
What is worse, a day after the uproar over the killing of farmers when the entire country was outraged, Radha Mohan Singh deliberated upon a weed problem in a Kerala region. He tweeted: 
 
On the same day, he also met union health minister JP Nadda with whom he discussed agricultural institutions in Himachal Pradesh.
 
And after 48 hours since the Mandsaur incident, the minister proudly performed yoga with Ramdev in Motihari and distributed gas connections to women. Again not a word on the killing of farmers.
 
The essence of Digital India seems to have been lost on the minister who could have stepped in as the situation deteriorated.
 
The agricultural department too maintained a stoic, indifferent online silence. It spoke of retaining youth in farming on June 6 and on June 7, it stressed on organic farming. None of the tweets were about the problems being faced by the farmers. Digitally, the ministry is clearly not in touch with the ground realities.
 

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