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OPINION | Netas Using Hindi to Woo Voters on Social Media

Political class looks beyond Hindi Diwas optics for electoral gains

Pankaj Sharma | CNN-News18@journopankaj

Updated:September 14, 2017, 11:51 AM IST
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OPINION | Netas Using Hindi to Woo Voters on Social Media
There are about nine ministers in the 28-member Cabinet, who mostly write in Hindi to reach out to their followers.

Hindi Diwas, observed on September 14, may just be another literary day to most people but it means a lot to our leaders.

The netas appear to be using the occasion to woo voters. Most ministers in the Union government use Hindi to reach out to people on social media.

A cursory view of recent social media posts of Cabinet ministers in the Modi government throw up some interesting results.

There are about nine ministers in the 28-member Cabinet, who mostly write in Hindi to reach out to their followers.

Uma Bharti, Maneka Gandhi, Radha Mohan Singh, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Piyush Goyal, JP Nadda and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Union Ministers, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nitin Gadkari, Chaudhary Birender Singh and Prakash Javadekar use Hindi as their preferred medium of communication.

Ministers like D V Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Dharmendra Pradhan use their mother tongues to reach out to their followers.

While, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Nirmala Sitharaman use English as a medium of communication on social media sites.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also uses English on social media. Perhaps, the choice of language is in keeping with the portfolio she handles. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a rage on social media, mostly uses English to communicate on social media.

Chief Ministers use languages that are commonly used by voters in their respective states.

For instance, Hindi is the preferred medium for CMs like Nitish Kumar, Raman Singh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Yogi Adityanath.

Regional languages are favourite with CMs such as Mamata Banerjee (Bengali interspersed with English), Vijay Rupani (Gujarati), Naveen Patnaik (Odiya), Chandrababu Naidu (Telugu) and Siddaramaiah (Kannada).

According to a recent report by Google-KPMG, an estimated 536 million Indians are expected to use regional languages online by 2021. The report also estimates that Hindi internet users (at 201 million) will outnumber those accessing the web in English at 199 million by 2021. India is expected to have 735 million internet users by 2021 from 409 million in 2016.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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