Go to contents

Indian PM’s SNS campaign draws youth enthusiasm amid criticism

Indian PM’s SNS campaign draws youth enthusiasm amid criticism

Posted April. 19, 2024 07:48,   

Updated April. 19, 2024 07:48


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, often dubbed the "influencer prime minister" for his active social media presence, is launching an energetic election campaign on social platforms ahead of the upcoming general elections starting from Friday. While his campaign is resonating with smartphone-savvy youth, there's criticism that Modi is overly reliant on social media.

Last Thursday, the Prime Minister's office released a video on its official YouTube channel showcasing Modi engaging with seven young individuals, including a professional gamer in his 20s and a broadcaster from an internet platform. The video depicts Modi learning to play a popular mobile game among youth and trying out a virtual reality device.

Back in 2014, the Financial Times labeled Modi as "the first social media prime minister in India," acknowledging his active use of these platforms. The Rest of World, an IT-focused media outlet, stated that while many underestimate how the political matrix has been remade by a society that now devours digital content, Modi has mastered the craft.

However, criticism mounts regarding Modi's heavy reliance on social media. Critics argue that Modi tends to communicate through these platforms, avoiding traditional media exposure. In March, Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shared a misleading video claiming that "Prime Minister Modi suspended the Russia-Ukraine war to facilitate Indian students' return home."

The BBC reported on Wednesday that many young Indians have unquestioningly accepted this, noting Modi's skill in making even falsehoods appear true.

김윤진 기자 kyj@donga.com