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Tharoor gets wide support from Twitterati
Published on 20 Sep. 2009 10:58 PM IST
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From tweets urging him “not to be cowed down” and apologising for “the crap he had to endure”, the twitterati - essentially the newgen - has rallied behind Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor after his “cattle class” remarks on Twitter kicked up a controversy. The support has been consistent from the time Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan termed his remark as “unacceptable and absolutely insensitive”. In an effort to put a lid on the issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has dismissed the remark as a “joke”. The minister has over 190,000 followers on Twitter, overtaking many other celebrities who are on the social networking web tool. Ludhiana-based Adish tweeted to the minister, “Do not be cowed down ..expose these austerity wallahs.. even if they are your own congressmen!!!!” He even gave advice to Tharoor to tell Rahul Gandhi about how his city Ludhiana was “paralysed” due to Gandhi’s visit by train as an austerity measure. Pankaj Parihar, a resident of Solan in Haryana, sent Tharoor a tweet, “After knowing the context, it will be highly unfair and sad if Congress takes any action against Shashi Tharoor. People will be disappointed.” Tharoor had clarified that the word “cattle class” was not referring to the passengers, but to referring to the airlines who had overcrowded the economy class. “Instead of firing/asking Shashi Tharoor to quit, start fixing things and make traveling a pleasant experience for “aam admi”,” said Ramesh Vijayaraghava, tweeting all the way from Princeton. Sumeet Nair, founding member of the Fashion Foundation of India, sent a tweet of solidarity to Tharoor, “Sorry about the crap you had to endure with Twittergate. This false morality and sermonizing is distressing.” There were also lots of twitterers from Kerala, some of whom seemed to have opened twitter accounts just to send messages to Tharoor. A schoolboy from Thiruvananthapuram, Kevin Jose wrote, “As a person from Trivandrum, I extend my support to you and I feel sorry for my fellow citizens who misunderstood your tweet.” Since Tharoor was on a official trip to Liberia and Ghana, his tweeting had been intermittent. So, whenever the minister sent out a post, it was greeted with open arms. Forty-six-year-old ‘arvmis’, a resident of Lucknow, urged, “Nice to see you back into your tweeting ways. Keep up your spirit, you have missions to accomplish.” Some of the minister’s latest tweets: “In politics, alas, you can’t assume your good deeds will spk for you. You can be sure your errors will be spoken of,” he tweeted in reply to Ankita Shekhar. “Alas, no time to write. The 20 minutes a day spent on twitter messaging is all I can manage by way of personal writing,” he tweeted Sunday noon in reply to Devarsh Patel. He is also excited about the ATP Champions Tour to be held in Thiruvananthapuram. “News that Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Guillermo Villas might compete in Tvm in the ATP Champions Tour!”, he tweeted Sunday. Tharoor raised the hackles of party members when in reply to a query on whether he would travel “cattle class”, had tweeted that he would travel “cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows”.

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