New Delhi: A day after the Congress publicly rebuked Shashi Tharoor for describing the airline Economy Class as “cattle class” on the microblogging site Twitter, a top aide of the minister batted aggressively for him, repeating the expression on his own Twitter page, and making public several comments by ‘followers’ ridiculing the party spokesperson, Jayanthi Natarajan, by name.
Jacob Joseph, Officer on Special Duty to the Minister of State for External Affairs, posted a picture of Tharoor asleep in an aircraft seat, with the caption “Shashi Tharoor in cattle class a month ago”.
Tharoor, currently on tour abroad, did not post any new tweets on Thursday. He last tweeted early September 16.
Jacob made public, or ‘re-tweeted’ (referred to as ‘RT’ on Twitter), comments made by other Twitter users that referred to Union ministers as “humorless twits”, and Congress spokesperson Natarajan as an example of the “outdated Indian political spokesman”.
“Twittergate is what u get when u have an educated guy in a cabinet of humorless twits” read one comment, re-tweeted by Jacob. Another re-tweet went: “english humor + outdated indian political spokesmen is a dangerous combo. avoid them! we indians are with you!”
Other examples: “Don’t let Jayanti Natarajan or any of the holy cows stop u 4m twittering. U called a spade a spade sans hypocrisy.”
“Why don’t you present a copy of The Great Indian Novel to Jayanthi Natarajan? Should result in great fun.”
“If ‘cattle class’ is so literally derogatory, why did congress dance to jai ho of ‘slum dog’?”
In the few tweets made by Jacob himself, the OSD has sought to indirectly defend Tharoor’s usage of the term ‘cattle class’. “Politics and the politicians are defined by you and me. Why not break the mold. Why can’t there be humor in politics?,” reads a tweet. Another says “We are not a funny country”, and a third, “Maybe they should invite a cow to join the panel discussion on TV”.