It is also worth noting that while Gandhi’s average tweet out-retweets Modi’s average tweet, when Modi’s tweets do go viral, he has much more momentum with “likes” with his massive following. Case in point, Modi’s exercise tweet was favourited almost 100,000 times.

Gandhi’s embrace of his underdog status may have served him well online. The aloofness that has traditionally marked the Gandhi family as above contenders helped cement the loathsome aristocratic vibe. But now, Gandhi, clearly in the disadvantaged position, is an open target of online bullying, and almost seems to have accepted it. While the outcome of the online battle may have little to do with how the actual election turns out, the stage is set for drama that retweeters and their friends are ready to get sucked into.

And yet, the deeper troubling trend we see with both leaders is their reduction in interaction with mainstream press. Both Gandhi and Modi rarely interact with the mainstream press. At this point, Modi sends more retweets with links to YouTube or SoundCloud, largely his own communications, than he does to all mainstream media sources combined.  This, if anything, is the most important trend in this story. Leaders have effectively moved over to communicating directly with little or no interaction with the mainstream media that is meant to act as a political watchdog for society. 

For now, we hope a politician retweets us.

Image for article titled How Modi lost his mojo and Rahul roared to life on Twitter
Image: Author providedd

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