It was a sunny day in May when I first walked into the social media offices of the Indian government.
The office of the prime minister, who is the president of the country, had been closed for the last two weeks as the government sought to complete a three-year budget deficit.
I had been on a mission to get the prime minster’s office opened up for me.
The staff were waiting in the hall outside.
I walked in.
It was the beginning of the workday.
The president was in a white suit with a white tie.
The receptionist was wearing a bright yellow dress.
I saw the prime ministers chief of staff, the director of the IT department and a representative from the defence ministry.
I asked the receptionist if I could speak to him.
She looked at me and said, ‘No problem, go ahead’.
I had arrived at the office in a hurry.
The doors had not been locked.
I took out a document and said to the chief of the staff, ‘This is a document about my work.’
He nodded and I asked him, ‘What’s this about?”
The government is trying to make it easier for people to work.
We want you to be more active on social media.
I want you on Twitter and Facebook.’
The chief of a staff in the prime ministry.
The receptionist told me that the government wanted to increase the number of people working in the social networking sites and make them more active.
She asked me to tell her if I thought there were some problems in the government.
I said that it was a complicated situation and the government would need time to make sure that the social network operators complied with the new rules.
The chief replied, ‘We are trying to open up social media to all.
There are people who have been here for a long time and have a lot of information.
They want to get it out there.
The government wants them to be active.’
This was a reference to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been campaigning on his Twitter account and his Facebook page for the past two years.
I was told that social media sites had become a place for social sharing, and a space where people could communicate.
I then asked the chief if he thought the government should give credit to social media companies.
He said that they should give an equal amount of credit to the government and the social networks.
‘It is a matter of the government not having control over the social platforms.
We are trying our best to manage them.
Social media should have a say.’
I asked if the prime ministerial office would have to be opened for the people in the PMO.
He replied, not yet.
I told him that the prime secretary, who was responsible for overseeing the PM’s office, was going to be responsible for it.
The PMO is in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office and all the ministries.
The office of Prime Minister of India (PMO).
Photo: AFP The receptionists was not interested in the answer.
I went on to ask about the prime ministries chief of personnel, a senior official from the finance ministry, and another official from a defence ministry office.
I did not ask the others.
The three men told me the prime Minister’s office had no control over social media and had asked the social sites to comply with the rules.
I could not understand what the PM was talking about.
I wanted to ask the minister of state for IT, who had a long tenure as defence minister, if he agreed with the prime’s office and social media, but he said he had not heard about the PMs plan to increase social media participation.
I then asked him what he thought about the Prime Minster’s Office opening up social networking services to all ministries.
He seemed confused.
I continued to press.’
The PM has been using social media for many years and is trying hard to get people to share their opinions with him.
He wants to be heard, so he wants them all to be engaged.
This is what the government wants.
Social networks should be free.
The prime minister has a huge influence on the social space.
This government is determined to make this space open for all.
The PMs office is trying his best to have a large number of social media users.
We need to get a handle on how these people are being used.’
The prime minister had just finished a meeting with other leaders of the opposition party in Delhi, and he had also met with a number of businessmen and industrialists in his office.
He had come to Delhi to discuss the budget, but was in no mood to discuss social media with the journalists present.
The government wanted social media services to be free for all ministries, and this was why it had started a process to open the social websites to all governments.
This was the second time I had visited the PM offices.
In the first visit, I had met the primeminster’s chief of office, who also happens to be the minister for IT. He