Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tharoor says he'd tweet, but in moderation

26 September 2009

Tharoor says he'd tweet, but in moderation
New Delhi: Unfazed by the controversy surrounding his comments on the microblogging site Tweeter, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor is upbeat about using this "innovative method of communication" used by the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

"(US President) Barack Obama uses it, (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton used it while she was in Delhi and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd does it," Tharoor said in an interview to the India Today magazine.

Describing tweeting as "an innovative medium of communication", he said he will continue it but with "some moderation."

"So, twitter will continue and I will not exercise self-censorship but some moderation," said the former UN official who believes he is in politics to make a difference.

Tharoor drew flak from some of his colleagues in the Congress party for his "cattle class" remark on Twitter to describe airline economy class travel.

He was responding to a question by a journalist whether, in view of his party's austerity drive, he would continue to travel "cattle class" - a popular slang for economy class. He reacted by tweeting that he would travel "cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows".

"Of course. I was disappointed as I had come here to make a difference," Tharoor said when asked about his party spokespersons taking offence to his 'cattle class' tweet.

Tharoor met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee after his return from two African countries amid the controversy over his remarks seen as offensive and insensitive by some of his party leaders.

Some Congress leaders like Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Rural Development Minister C.P. Joshi even demanded Tharoor's resignation for the remarks. However, Manmohan Singh sought to downplay the remarks at his Iftar party, saying it was just "a joke".

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