Twitter tantrum

Sushma Swaraj has been hailed for her Twitter diplomacy but she has replied to one tweet too many on Amazon’s tricolour doormat issue


External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s response to a tweet pointing out that doormats resembling the Indian flag were being sold on Amazon’s Canadian website was a study in overreaction. Photo: HT
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s response to a tweet pointing out that doormats resembling the Indian flag were being sold on Amazon’s Canadian website was a study in overreaction. Photo: HT

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj figures in Foreign Policy magazine’s list of 100 global thinkers for 2016, for fashioning “a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy”. Fair enough: she has put the social network to good use, often replying directly to requests for help from Indians. On Wednesday, though, the minister replied to one tweet too many.

Her response to a tweet pointing out that doormats resembling the Indian flag were being sold on Amazon’s Canadian website was a study in overreaction. The fact that the item isn’t even available in India makes her threats to freeze all visas for Amazon personnel and cancel those already issued even more absurd.

Swaraj wields a big stick by dint of her office. She should wield it with cool deliberation—not for reasons that amount to little more than hurt sentiments, and against a corporation in the midst of pumping in investment and creating jobs in India.

There is no reason to turn Twitter into a bully pulpit.

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