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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Regional Takes

Of the Sanjay 'wrong', Shashi not tweeting 'Right'
Chetna Keer, Hindustan Times
March 25, 2013
First Published: 09:30 IST(25/3/2013)
Last Updated: 10:29 IST(25/3/2013)
Chetna Keer

It's been quite a happening time for Tweeple, for reasons that have had to do with Gujarat's past, Mumbai's blast and Delhi's consternation at controversial tweets flying thick and fast. Somewhere, controversy was chasing Misfortune's much-favoured child. Elsewhere, Controversy's cyber czar was busy courting it left, 'Right' and 'Centre'.


'Twitter's Tendulkar' Shashi Tharoor, best known for making his debut in the social media's Hall of Fame with his cattle-class claim, recently proved that his affair with Twitter doesn't stop at cattle tattle or a Rs. 50-crore girlfriend furore. Such is his penchant for courting controversies that only one thing is sure: there will be more.

Tharoor's tweets

And so, barely had the hue and cry generated by BJP biggie Narendra Modi's digs at Tharoor's better half Sunanda Pushakar died down that it was the Congress minister's turn to zero in on Modi through his trademark tweets.

But what raised many an eyebrow was Tharoor's Twitter game of blowing hot and cold on the chief ministerial incumbent in the BJP's western stronghold. It did cause the Congress some surprise when it saw the union minister rise to the defence of Modi in disgrace following the Wharton volte-face. "Once they (Wharton) had invited him (Modi), they had a duty to hear his point of view," was the Tharoor tweet on Modi's disinvite that did the Centre's consternation invite. For, far from bashing his BJP bête noire, Tharoor made Wharton look wrong and Modi 'Right'!

So, Tharoor's more recent and more politically correct utterances on Modi strove to showcase how the Congress minister's social media-savviness could be leveraged for his party's political campaigns.

The latest Twitter tirade against the BJP rival saw Tharoor comparing the progress of Kerala and Gujarat on growth parameters.

Alas! Tharoor's taint targeted at Modi turned out to be too tweet to be true. For, the figures for Gujarat that Tharoor furnished pertained to a period from political history just before Modi was at the helm.

And so, it turned out to be a classic case of not how "history repeats itself', but of how history 'retreats' itself!

Dutt's the way

If in the case of Tharoor, history was 'retreating' itself, in the case of another child of controversy, Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, the past was busy not repeating or retreating but revisiting.

Dutt's sentencing by the Supreme Court saw Twitter, too, go aflutter. From Karan Johar's emotional outburst, "I am truly shattered to hear of Sanju's sentence... the nicest guy I have known just doesn't deserve this... my heart goes out to him...." to Kunal Kohli's outrage at the political unfairness of it all, "The '93 blast case should NOT be made about Sanjay Dutt. The real planners are sitting safely in Pakistan like Osama bin Laden was," there was a spate of sentiment and shock flooding the social media.

Interestingly, however, some superstars were conspicuous by their silence on the social media. Here's a 'role' call of some of the Sultans of Silence in the Sanjay sentencing: Salman Khan, for one, thought it best to maintain a studied silence. For, this Badshah of Biceps may have arms to die for but one thing that intimidates even him is the long arm of the law.

So, by not airing or circulating his views about the Sanju sentence on the social media, an already litigation-beleaguered Sallu may have only been ensuring that the apex court should not see him as passing the "Buck"!

As for Shah Rukh Khan, he may have thought it best to let sleeping dogs lie. For a star already made to stay out of Mumbai's Wankhede stadium, it may have been best not to have anything to say on the issue of Sanjay not being granted further 'stay'. King Khan's logic: Better to focus on 'Chennai Express' than himself on matters of Mumbai 'express'!

And Sanjay's former flame Madhuri Dixit's silence on the 'sentence' only stated a sad reality: that she has made a comeback into Bollywood but not into Sanju's circle of star supporters.

Madhuri may like it or not, but the truth is: Sanju spells a 'blast' from her past Nene-theless!


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