Time to draw up a list of #Top10Tweeple of 2012. Tweeple who, through the power of their tweets, have contributed to enhancing our experience in unique ways. Tweeple who have kept us informed, have humored us, have given us completely new perspective to look at things, have busted old myths, have evolved new paradigms and have taken activism to a completely new level. Tweeple who, through the sheer power of their 140 characters, have become people in our lives !
The idea to make such a list was originally floated by Dosabandit, on where else but Twitter. A few clarifications though before I get down to the list.
First, I consider it beyond my pale to rank Tweeple who are renowned experts in their fields and are hugely respected and admired. Therefore, Tweeple like Kanchan Gupta and Bibek Debroy and others like them – who have considerably contributed in shaping the discourse in 2012 – are not part of the list.
Second, the list is no particular order. Even as accomplished a person as me has been unable to rank the following people:
1. Jemin Panchal ( @jemin_p ) : For transitioning beyond Twitter; for being a crusader on causes that may not be glamorous but make a difference to people’s lives; for travelling by train to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony; for always willing to chat on Twitter at 3 AM; for being polite yet firm in his views.
2. Reality Check India ( @realitycheckind ) : For providing a reality check on issues that matter to India; for running a blog which demystified as diverse topics as RTE and IDMI scheme; for doing it for passion what mainstream media does not do as part of their job; for busting the myth that faceless and nameless Tweeple are all trolls.
3. Barbarian Indian ( @barbarindian ) : For being the first to understand that media is a crime scene; for his perspicacious mind; for storifying the ugly side of rumor mongering mainstream media; for having a “soft heart” (as one liberal once said) and far right views, for being part of THE 16.
4. Jaideep A. Prabhu ( @orsoraggiante ) : For bringing scholarly expertise on most issues between 200 BC to 1999 AD; for the most unpronounceable handle on Twitter; for conjuring up a list of books to read that many did not know even existed; for Tweeting Arabic songs at 4:00 AM; for being an Aryan plant in Dravidistan !
5. Priti Gandhi ( @MrsGandhi ) : For bringing Punjabi passion to Gujarati enterprise; for demonstrating that an idea needs as much intellectual rigor as passion and belief to make it a mass movement; for making the Gandhi surname likable in these times, especially in these times; for graciously handling Congressi trolls.
6. Amit Malviya ( @malviyamit ) : For first instigating and then satiating our Jijnasa on diverse topics on a regular basis; for being part of the self motivated, unapologetic neo-Right Wing movement; for being active in Friends of BJP in ways that Congress tried copying it; for measuring IQ in shoe sizes.
7. Vijay ( @centerofright ) : For busting a propaganda started by three major outlets so completely that they had no other option but to retract within hours; for being as much a myth for some as a reality for most others; for making Times of India believe that a Tweeple with such powers cannot be one man; for being the founder President of STOU.
8. Prasanna Viswanathan ( @prasannavishy ) : For starting, sustaining, and popularizing a new, assertive, erudite and comprehensive Right Wing discourse through CRI; for having a keen eye for identifying new Tweeples; for being the undisputed neologist of the Right; for not letting ideology come in the way of liking “a Bengali journalist” !
9. MediaCrooks ( @mediacrooks ) : For running the best media-watch blog in India; for proving that one can be relentless in critiquing the pernicious agenda of some in the media, without ever resorting to abuse or trite commentary; for bringing to critique a scholarly touch; for doing a Chaitanya Kunte million times over !
10. Sunanda Vashisht ( @sunandavashisht ) : For proving that Internet Hindu world is not a male bastion; for presenting a side of Kashmir story that media knows is true but has not had the courage to acknowledge; for her pertinent review of Durbar; for reversing some of the St. Stephen’s well deserved negative reputation !
- Since this is a Top 10 list, therefore I had to stop at 10 (it feels like numbered tweets by a certain person). However, I must make mention of three other handles which have each contributed in shaping our experience on Twitter: (A) Niti Central (@NitiCentral); (B) Karthikeya Tanna (@KartikeyaTanna) and (C) The UnReal Times (@TheUnRealTimes).
Note: The picture used against each Twitter handle has been taken from the public Twitter profile of the respective handles. In case any person is aggrieved for unauthorized use of their picture and plans to sue Twitter Inc. for letting this happen, then please add me as a co-litigant and we can split up the moolah !