For anyone who is on Twitter and enjoys satire, @RoflGandhi_ needs no introduction. The anonymous handle’s satirical take on political and social issues has earned him huge popularity among fans and critics alike. His political commentary is widely appreciated by the Twitterati.
In an exclusive chat with Newsd, the person behind the Twitter handle reveals his motivations and how has his journey been so far.
Here it goes:
Q. What made you run the account as Rofl Gandhi?
The handle started operating in 2012 when the Congress government was in power in the Centre. The party’s Vice- President, Rahul Gandhi, was the centre of jokes at that time. It was fashionable to make jokes around the leaders of the government in power. If someone is in power, making jokes around them is more suitable, as people can relate to them more. Also, Rofl and Rahul kind of rhyme in some way and ‘Rofl’ is kind of a catchy name in itself.
Q. Is it a single person running the handle or a collective effort?
I am the only one who has been operating this handle solely since the last five years.
Q. Any challenges/threat that you ever faced since you’ve been critical of all political parties at some time or the other?
Well, I would say that not in particular from any powerful person. They take my jokes or posts lightly. If they do get offended by a particular post or tweet, they block me at times, but they never threaten me with dire consequences. However, if the supporters of a particular party get offended, they tend to abuse me in many ways. I face such kind of threats by supporters of political parties daily, but nothing is very serious or alarming about them. That is the only thing I face. But this comes as a part of the job that I am doing.
Interestingly, there have been times when leaders told me that they liked my post or praised me for a particular tweet.
Q. How far has anonymity helped you in targeting different sets of followers? Have you considered revealing your identity?
I don’t want to show my face or reveal my true identity to the world. Being anonymous gives me a kind of security in the kind of job that I’m doing. It’s a character and an identity that I’ve built up in the last five years. It is who I am and I would like to remain like this.
It’s also fun being anonymous. If I tweet from my personal handle, it would not be that important or effective as it will not align with my identity ( Rofl Gandhi). It has become my face, my brand and I would like it to remain so. Anonymity itself has given me an identity on Twitter.
Q. If you could get access to any politician’s Twitter handle for an hour- who would you choose? What would you do with it?
It would be the handle of our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. I would instantly tweet that ‘your account will be credited with Rs 15 lakhs in the next 15 minutes’.
Q. Why the Prime Minister’s handle specifically?
Because he is the most powerful face in the country and people have immense faith in his tweets and post. Also, given the fact that he has millions of followers on Twitter, the credibility of the tweets will be more.
Q. Have you ever considered stand-up comedy?
People have suggested that I should do stand-up acts and go live on social media platforms although I haven’t tried them as yet. But I am considering it now, though I know it is a different kind of art and I need to train myself for the same. Maybe by the end of this year, I will try to come up with something new.