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Two tweets for Africa – from Tharoor


New Delhi : Call it a curious blend of arrogance and ignorance, but Africa is virtually a dark continent for the Indian media, specially for its TRP-obsessed TV networks. Amid all the hullabaloo about Minister Shashi Tharoor’s ‘cattle class’ tweets, nobody in the media bothered about the first ministerial visit from India to Liberia in nearly four decades – by him.

Tharoor, the minister of state for external affairs, posted tweets about his Africa visit, but the media hardly bothered. “terrific mtgs today with President Sirleaf and most of her cabinet. India extends hand of friendship & solidarity as Liberia rebuilds,” Tharoor wrote. Incidentally, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is African’s first elected woman head of state.

Compare the Indian media’s benign neglect of Africa with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s whirlwind visit to seven African nations, including Liberia, one of the success stories in Africa and a US ally. Clinton posted regular tweets on her Africa visit which was scrupulously followed by the American media. It might explain why Africans choose to look the other way when India goes scouting for votes for its bid for a seat in the UN Security Council.