Another major figure could soon join the list of a growing number of people who are done with social media: The leader of the world’s largest democracy.
Modi, whose 53 million followers on Twitter make him one of the most popular figures on the microblogging social network, did not offer any rationale for his thinking.
On his Facebook page, he has more than 44 million followers; on Instagram, 35.2 million; and 4.5 million on Google’s video platform.
The closure of the accounts, which Modi says he might do over the weekend, may further distance the leader from wide swathes of issues — growing unemployment in the nation, slowing economy, riots in national capital New Delhi and protests against his recent policies, to name a few — that some critics say his ruling party refuses to acknowledge, let alone fix.
And it would be a stark departure from how he has used his social media accounts over the years. Modi, and his political party Bharatiya Janata Party, have used Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and several other internet services very efficiently to promote their messages and agendas, something that played a key role in his re-election last year.
Modi’s office also maintains an app, called NaMo, to share his thinking with the people. It’s one of the most downloaded apps on Google Play Store in India. No word on whether the NaMo app would also be axed.
For Modi, quitting social media may at least bring some peace to him. Some of the people he has chosen to follow have been found inciting violence and spreading false information on numerous occasions, according to several analysts.