External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has earned praise worldwide for the effective use of social media for helping Indians abroad. On Sunday, though, the external affairs minister was irked by a Twitter user’s request.
A Pune-based software developer, who goes by the handle @smitraj07, tweeted to Swaraj requesting a transfer for his wife who apparently works in the Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) railway division.
Swaraj, in a curt reply, tweeted to Smit Raj “If you or your wife were from my Ministry and such a request for transfer was made on twitter, I would have sent a suspension order by now”. Swaraj also tagged railway minister Suresh Prabhu to look into the IT professional’s request. However, Prabhu tweeted saying he was not responsible for transfers and forwarded the request to the railway board.
If you or your wife were from my Ministry and such a request for transfer was made on twitter, I would have sent a suspension order by now. https://t.co/LImngQwFh6— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) 8 January 2017
Raj tweeted saying he has filed three RTI’s but has not got a response. He chose to describe his situation as ‘banwas’ or exile, the same word Swaraj had used to respond to a man from the US trying to get his wife’s passport cleared.
The external affairs ministry has recently launched a ‘Twitter Seva’ to enable timely, transparent and large-scale response to citizens’ tweets in real time.
The Twitter Seva service will be supported by 198 Twitter accounts of Indian missions abroad and 29 regional passport offices.
Swaraj was named in the Global Thinkers of 2016 list compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine. The magazine recalled how, when around 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia faced a “food crisis” earlier this year due to job losses, Swaraj tweeted about the issue to six million followers on the social media website.