All Indian Embassies must join Facebook, says MEA official

At a seminar The Arab Spring, meaning causes and implications Navdeep Suri, joint secretary, Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of External Affairs encouraged Indian Embassies in various countries to join Facebook and other social networking sites.

The seminar was jointly organised by the MEA and Centre for Advanced Strategic Studies at Yashada, on the backdrop of the general belief in many sections of the world, which consider the Arab spring as the Facebook/social media revolution. Suri does not believe that the uprising was media hype, but it was accelerated because of social media which primarily acted as a catalyst in the revolution.

Talking about the Public Diplomacy initiatives, he said: "We have been encouraging the Indian embassies abroad to be visible on Facebook. Today, when the governments are battling the fact that they are speaking but are not being heard by their own people, which in turn is resulting in diminishing the government's credibility, social network is godsend. We have 56 of our embassies on Facebook and are increasing further. Cairo, Palestine are some of the top locations that are following us on our Facebook page."

Suri also spoke about the effective use of social media as a tool that helped in evacuating Indians in Arab countries. Prior to Suri, Ambassador (retired) K P Fabian spoke on - Perspective on the Arab spring and India. "As a soft power India needs to take serious interest in what is happening in the rest of the world and respond accordingly," he said.

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