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March 30, 2016

Narendra Modi, Twitter, and the Selfie State

This event featured a discussion with Joyojeet Pal, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. Pal examined Narendra Modi’s rise on Twitter as an important example of new-age political brand management.
Modi has had a very significant presence on social media with over 32 million “likes” on Facebook and 17 million followers on Twitter, second among elected officials only to U.S. President Barack Obama. He examined the frequency, tenor, and popularity of Prime Minister Modi's messages, as well as his use of political metaphor. Pal analyzed how the prime minister employs these tactics to shape a new, populist discourse as leader of twenty-first century India.

Pal further explored the link between the Bharatiya Janata Party’s win and Modi’s connection with the youth of the country through social media. The 2014 election saw an increase in approximately 100 million new voters, which Pal asserted can significantly be attributed to Modi’s social media presence.

This event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown India Initiative and the Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program.

Joyojeet Pal is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan whose research focuses on information and communications technology and the use of accessible technology in the developing world.