Technology creates new words all the time. The current biggie is “selfie”. This word was first coined as the term for pictures of oneself taken using smartphones. Since its coinage, the usage is growing very quickly. In August 2013, the term selfie made its debut in Oxford Dictionaries Online’s quarterly update where it is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Selfies are often associated with social networking and photo sharing services where they are commonly posted or sent usually Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The term is still expanding and now it encompasses posts and tweets about oneself. Anyone who shares minutae of themselves or constantly self-publicizes is a selfie. The number of times one posts about themselves is indicative of their place on the selfie scale. Recently, in a concert, Beyonce posed behind a teenager taking a selfie – and this act by the singer has placed her in high stratosphere in the selfie world – where the ultimate goal is as much exposure as possible.
Narendra Modi is seriously tech-savvy. Purportedly, he is the most tech-savvy politician in India. He has been an active part of the virtual world for some time now. He is also supposed to have an entire team of analysts, stylists, image consultants etc. who no doubt caught on to the way the world is moving towards selfie-ism. An old story in advertising goes that there is a fish that lays lakhs of eggs at a time but no one knows about it, while a hen lays one egg at a time, and because it makes so much noise about that egg, there is a whole poultry industry in the world. Meaning the world only knows what is advertised. Modi seems to have learnt this well and uses it extremely effectively.
Any speech of Modi’s quickly turns to his achievements in Gujarat. No matter which field, industry or sector, there is something that Modi has to claim and proclaim. In a function for Lata Mangeshkar’s hospital in Pune, Modi was the Chief Guest. Lata, in no unambiguous words said that she and most people want to see Modi as Prime Minister. This is a major achievement because in India, seldom do folks from the entertainment industry openly support a party or candidate. That aside, after Lata’s gracious speech, Modi was handed the mike. Starting with lauding the Mangeshkars, Modi introduced “preventive health” and went on to enumerate Gujarat’s achievements in this area. Unfortunately, the TV channels stopped the live telecast while he was still speaking – this time about health insurance.
Modi’s verbal selfieness has come in for a lot of criticism from many quarters and has also earned Modi his infamous hashtag. However, no matter what the detractors say, Modi supporters insist that this happens because there is so much the man has done that can be talked about. Whatever your stand is on Modi, the fact is there is no way that the man can be ignored.
By Sujata Garimella
Image Source : IANS