Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have no love lost for each other. But both are also obsessed with each other so that one does not allow the other to be forgotten by the people. And that leaves no dull moment in the lives of the rest of the Indians. The order runs down the hierarchy on both sides. The Dirty Tricks Departments of the two are fighting their own separate turf war. Rahul’s social media army, which boasts a formidable team of 40 the number was given away by a solidarity statement issued in support of one of the team leaders in an alleged sexual harassment charge by another team member the other day posted an old video of protesters shouting slogans against Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje. The video was purportedly taken during Modi’s July 7 Jaipur rally. The video shows several angry people shouting: “We have nothing against you Modi, but Vasundhara won’t be spared. Vasundhara go back!”
The Congress lost time no time in tweeting: “While PM Modi is gaining control of @facebook, he’s losing control of his cadres. Open infighting on display at PM Modi’s Jaipur rally.” Unfortunately for the Rahul team, the video happened to be five months old and the BJP’s IT team in-charge, Amit Malviya, hit back, saying the Congress had scored a same-side goal. “The Congress scores a self-goal (as always) on Twitter. Claims a 5-month-old video is from the PM’s rally in Jaipur on Saturday,” Amit Malviya tweeted. The Congress quickly accepted its mistake and posted its retort. “Oops, this video was taken in Jhunjhunu and not in Jaipur, where CM Vasundhara Raje and PM Modi were present, as the infighting between the BJP cadres broke out,” it tweeted.
But Divya Spandana, heading Rahul’s hyperactive social media team, did not stop there. She did not forget to challenge the Modi man’s manhood. “Yes, we did make that mistake. But the content is real. Will you acknowledge Amit? Be a man, you can,” Divya tweeted. The faux pas also caused embarrassment to Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot and Modi basher Prashant Bhushan, who had shared video but had to quickly delete.
No doubt, social media is bringing some home truths about old Indian philosophies back into focus: that what gives identity to an object is its surroundings. The aphorism has now become basic to the study of cognitive science, which is going to play a crucial role in artificial intelligence. Context, in its modern interpretation, becomes “a statistical property that provides critical information to help us solve perceptual inference tasks faster and more accurately”. The moral of the story is that dirty tricks can, sometimes, convey deep meanings of life and existence, which the human mind has been striving to unravel since time immemorial.