A Foreign Hand
Vijay Sampla, the minister of state for social justice and empowerment, is, by the standards of too many Indian politicians, a modest Twitter presence. But when he invoked PM Narendra Modi’s nonagenarian mother, Heeraben, in a recent tweet, he experienced the thrills and spills of virality. Sampla posted a picture of Modi’s mother boarding an auto to cast her vote in the 2014 general election. He contrasted it with Rahul Gandhi, whose mother, Sampla tweeted, “is the World’s 4th Wealthiest Politician!” Leaving aside the fake news about Sonia Gandhi’s net worth, Sampla’s point was opaque. In any case, everyone was distracted by a hand, unattached to a body, helping Heeraben into the auto. Photoshop, the Twitterati cried. How embarrassing. Except it wasn’t. Sampla didn’t tamper with the image. He was just guilty of BJP-issue fawning. And that really is embarrassing.