Home >News >India >Govt taps social media to create a positive narrative on citizenship law

NEW DELHI : Amid ongoing protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NaMo app on Monday announced the launch of Twitter outreach campaign with hashtag #IndiaSupportsCAA. The app has been downloaded over 10 million times on Android which occupies majority share of Indian smartphone market.

Prime Minister’s official website and NaMo app’s Twitter handle tweeted about the contentious Act which paves the way for granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jain, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh who flee religious persecution in their countries.

“#IndiaSupportsCAA because CAA is about giving citizenship to persecuted refugees and not about taking anyone’s citizenship away," read the tweet. Under the campaign, the government has created content, graphics and videos which citizens can check using #IndiaSupportsCAA hashtag in the ‘Your Voice’ section of Volunteer module on NaMo app. The hashtag is being promoted by BJP ministers and party workers on the micro blogging platform.

Meanwhile, Narendra Modi leveraged his personal Twitter account, with 52.2 million followers, to push a video created by spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev who’s explaining why CAA and NRC are not against minorities. Posted on Sadhguru’s YouTube channel on 28 December, the video has garnered over 630,000 views so far.

Independent digital business advisor Ashok Lalla said the government has a well-oiled social media outreach machinery that includes celebrities and influencers with a large following. This machinery will be tapped to create a positive narrative about the subject quickly. While Sadhguru has his own cachet of followers and his voice will resonate with them, how this campaign will shape or change the real sentiment on the ground is to be seen. “Trending something on social media is often just that. Real shifts in belief and behaviour may or may not be influenced by a mere social media trend," he added.

The official Twitter handle of the Bharatiya Janata Party (@BJP4India) has been in an overdrive tweeting infographics busting the myths through Myth Buster CAA, 2019. Each image carries a myth and a corresponding fact clearing doubts around the Act.

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