How Congress delivered its brainchild #FEKU
Congress party must be the oldest and largest party which ruled this country over maximum period of time but they arrived very late on social media network. By the time Congress reached here, BJP and its supporter groups were already dominating this sector with its extensive attendance. Here is the saga how Congress party reached on twitter.
It must have been vaguely gentle February morning when Digvijaya Singh asked Amaresh Misra, his protégé/prize catch whom he brought in the Congress in 2009 from Ulema Council and ultra-Left groups, to join twitter.
Singh put him on Twitter deliberately to take on the RSS. Digvijaya knew that Amaresh’s hidden trait that of an ‘akkhad Allahabadi’ who could get nasty and abusive despite being a world acclaimed historian and writer.
In February/March 2013, the atmosphere on twitter was extremely anti-Congress. G Surya, Gaurav Pandhi, Rachit Seth, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Sanjay Jha were trying to tame Sanghi tweepal group, but they largely failed as their presence and number count was limited. Aggressive onslaught against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Muslims and other liberal personalities were on rise. In fact, they almost succeeded in pushing Rajdeep Sardesai and Ravish Kumar of NDTV out of Twitter. Ravish no more exists here and Sardesai has secured his account by blocking many attackers. Right wing tweepals brought storm in Congress media and supporter groups. Then, here entered the most educated abuser Amaresh Misra
. He however took on the RSS almost single-handed; he got the support of Massy and others associated with Sandeep Dixit and Deependra Hooda group. No one agreed with him to abuse girls but they all were happy that he was taming down Sanghi group. However, during all marathon nights where RSS Vs anti-RSS fights were on peak, some of which went till 3-4am in the morning, Congress tweepals did little. It was Amaresh who gave blow for blow, abuse for abuse; threats and killing. He attacked mercilessly those who praised Godse. To the extreme he silenced some by saying that he wants Modi’s head and will pay a reward to anyone who gets it!
Congress remained silent and subtly encouraged Amaresh during this phase as many RSS handles stopped tweeting due to aggressive anti-RSS attack by him. It was then Amaresh tweeted against Arun Poorie holding him responsible for inviting (in his own words) “mass-murderer” Modi to India Today conclaves. He said how would Poorie feel if some stripped and raped his daughter? Will he then realise the pain Gujarati Muslims went through? Amaresh also threatened Mamata Tiwari and Kanchan Gupta, both of whom went to the Congress for protection. Irony is that in spite of so much chaos, there was no action taken against this Congressman. Finally, things came to halt when right wing groups (from whom Congress was nervous) had sought Congress’ help to stop Amaresh. They were not scared to fight with him but they were disappointed with the language he used and the treats he gave.
Finally, as we all know that Congress never required an enemy from outside to pull its members’ legs, Shashi Tharoor played that role. He went with Arun Poorie and retweeted tagging Digvijaya Singh (which Misra was tweeted). The latter too shocked and tried censoring his tweets. But Amaresh got crucial backing from an unlikely quarter: From Rahul Gandhi, who secretly appreciated Amaresh’s aggression as a rebel against RSS and the system
This was the time when Kapil Sibal was talking about Congress’ plan of investing Rs *** crores in the social media. Suddenly, there was money; and Congress people are known as “anything for money”. This party’s biggest weakness is “woman and wealth”
. We have witnessed many such instances in the past. Everyone affiliated to the Congress organisation expected some financial aphorism. I’m not hinting about those selfless volunteers who are spending their time and energy without any gain in terms of money. Meanwhile, right wing tweepals had rattled Congress/Rahul Gandhi by trending #Pappu several times. Such was the impact of Sanghi propaganda that Rahul’s speeches were made fun of (They are actually funny; even I make fun of his speeches). Ongoing crises and defeat, and on other side financial greed and expectation, this Congress tweepals’ group had misconception that Amaresh is already paid and the fact is that he was a hardcore grassroots level worker and not a person meant for social media. This was definitely a diversion for him, but his skills to abuse have got him into limelight. There goes the saying, any publicity is promotion.
The burning anger and frustration needed some outlet. When Modi was to address FICCI’s Women’s meet, Congress people, especially Massy and Amaresh got together to trend #Feku. Massy is actual brain to elevate Congress on social network, but he was never credited for that
. #Feku term was originally used by the Gujarat Congress in the last Gujarat assembly elections, where it flopped. #Feku brought together all anti-BJP forces, even those who were anti-Congress. Congress tweepals team cultivated in the middle-east, Gulf countries and Carribean islands.
UK and US were influenced towards Sanghi. All Congress forces were busy gathering support to make this trend a success. Finally, they did it and I was told there were lots of gifts delivered to key people over this achievement and parties were thrown. Anyways, that boosted the moral of Congress Twitter workers.#Feku’s enormous success led to wild rumours about Congress that it is investing Rs. 100 crores in social media. Here, Digvijaya Singh’s rivals like Ahmed Patel, Janardan Dwivedi, even Chidambaram, got together to oppose Misra as the head of Congress social media team. Congress has two groups, one is of Ahmed Patel and another one is of Digvijaya Singh. Hectic all night meetings were held by Congress top leaders, who had been in the party for decades, to corner one man who joined Congress only in 2009.
Everyone was trying to impress their bosses, even Sanjay Jha who used to run a website called HamaraCongress.com, but no one got the expected attention. They participated in TV debates and gave media interviews but people failed to impress high command. Actually speaking, Sanjay Jha or Poonawala’s contribution towards Congress is difficult to explain. Anyways that’s their internal issue.Things reached to a lowest point, when Rajasthan ATS came to Amaresh’s Gurgaon House at 5am in the morning, reading his tweet against Rajasthan government. That time Amaresh was in Mumbai and Digvijaya Singh was in the US.
Rajasthan ATS team knew Amaresh was not at home. They wanted to take his wife and kids to the Police Station. But Pragati Sharma Misra, Amaresh’s wife, stood up against the Police guys boldly, forcing them to retreat. This high drama almost snapped ties between Amaresh and Digvijaya as the latter was unable to pinpoint who in the Congress had tried to send a Police force from a Congress ruled state to a Congressman’s residence. Ahmed Patel and Kanishka Singh were the only two suspects.The incident caught the attention of Rahul Gandhi and even the Congress President
. Meanwhile, Deependra Hooda, Ajay Maken, Sandeep Dixit were able to prevail upon Digvijaya Singh to put Amaresh’s name away from heading Congress’ social media team. Sanjay Jha/Priyanka Chaturvedi was made spokespersons; G Surya and all others were invited to social media seminars but Amaresh was ignored.
This is what Congress very smartly does to their workers, they alleged BJP but sidelining and ignoring a worker after extracting all services is Congress’s bench mark. Yes in this entire drama, one Congress abuser took a backseat. I call it a blessing in disguise.
However, apart from Muslims, several right wing tweepals, including Brahmins from North India, who had earlier engaged Amaresh in all night twitter fights, came over to Amaresh’s side. This was seen by Rahul Gandhi as a major success. This is when the resources allocated to social media by Congress were withdrawn and investigation launched by Rahul Gandhi’s personal team on the whole sordid affair. The report of that investigation is still pending. (Keeping investigations pending is also Congress’s another drawback). Googling Amaresh Misra’s name reveals a Wikipedia entry which describes him as a writer and a Naxalite too. Amaresh was also a student leader of CPI-ML (Liberation) in Allahabad University
. To get more details, I also interacted with several block and panchayat level heads of Congress unit in Ghazipur district in eastern UP, where he is politically active. This entire saga is worth knowing, but that I will expose in some other edit. This is the story of Digvijaya Camp and anti-Digvijaya camp.
I know there would be lots of debate and discussions after reading my views, but one thing is sure; without any base I am not speaking anything in air……right?
To thrash out further, follow me on Twitter @vaidehisachin, wait for my next edit on another interesting aspect of social media…http://www.afternoonvoice.com/how-congr ... -feku.html