The new government embraced social media, pioneered ‘Digital India’ and encouraged ‘Make in India’ initiatives. Their pro-tech stance was loved by all, and Modi’s election victory tweet broke records of sorts in 2014. Modi was painted as a smartphone man who loves Twitter and other forms of digital communication, that he is very active on. However, a recent RTI report has revealed that even though the PM is very active on social media, he does not have a basic email ID for digital communication. Also Read - Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ until it proves bot claimsAlso Read - PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India's first 5G testbed
In a country where social revolution and need for transparency are being encouraged, ease in communication with top officials should be a basic mandate. But when Chhattisgarh-resident Rusen Kumar filed an RTI application with the Prime Minister’s Office, seeking information on the e-mail ID being used by Modi or his representatives, the PMO replied to Kumar confirming that Modi himself does not have any official email ID. Also Read - Elon Musk duels with Twitter CEO over expanse of spam and bots on micro-blogging platform
“I am surprised. The Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy does not have an email id,” Kumar told Times of India, adding that an email is one of the simplest means to communicate with people.
The PMO further replied to Kumar saying that any form of information, feedback, suggestion or complaint addressed to PM and his office can be sent through pmindia.gov.in/en/
The page is titled ‘Interact with the PM’ and has two sections. One allows you to share ideas, thoughts and insights, while the other lets you write to the Prime Minister. To do any of this, a user has to register on the website, making the process very lengthy. The website is designed by the government body National Informatics Centre (NIC), which recently also introduced an internal email service for all government officials.
The government issued notifications to all employees stating the ban of Gmail, Yahoo and other third-party email services. They are all asked to shift to NIC’s email service which can be monitored and doctored on the government’s will.
Modi is one of the most followed politicians on Twitter, and it’s probably high-time he gets an official email ID. There is very little a citizen can express in 140 characters.