Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer is out to make ‘friends'.
These friends would be able to “like” him, “poke” him and, at a pinch, hold him up against the “wall.”
Against the backdrop of a glass case full of ‘vada' and the clink of tea-glasses, the Facebook page of Dr. Muneer was click-launched in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. It was Anoop, a student of the journalism programme at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, who clicked on the ‘ Publish' button for Dr. Muneer's personal Facebook page and the page for the Minister for Social Welfare.
As a group of college students crowded around him in front of the tea shop near Adhyapaka Bhavan behind the Secretariat, Dr. Muneer held forth on how the youth should work to make the government more responsible and accountable.
“Nowadays, opinion generation takes place mainly through the social media,” he told The Hindu . “By making friends on Facebook and by having them express opinions on various issues, I am gaining an uncensored, straight-from-the-heart feedback from people. Now, there is a limitation to the number of people whose views I get to know,” he added.
But didn't a post on Facebook get an MLA into a spot of bother recently?
“Yes, that happened. As a Minister, I stand by the existing rules and regulations governing conduct related to the Assembly. As a citizen, however, I feel that things will change dramatically in the coming years. Earlier, taking a laptop into the Assembly was forbidden. Now ipads are being given to legislators. Soon, everything will be transparent. After all, that is the basis of democracy,” he said.
When a student from the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, asked Dr. Muneer whether college students could link their “I Am Responsible” social awareness campaign to his Facebook page, the Minister readily accepted the proposal.
Students from Pankajakasturi College, College of Engineering, the Fine Arts College, the Law Academy, and the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, were among those who were present at the inaugural function.
The official link for Dr. Muneer's profile is https://www.facebook.com/mkmuneeronline and the link for the Minister's portfolio page is https://www.facebook.com/ MinistryofSocialWelfare.