1. Modi meme row: These 5 examples show why Rahul Gandhi’s party badly needs to shun arrogance, elitism

Modi meme row: These 5 examples show why Rahul Gandhi’s party badly needs to shun arrogance, elitism

Congress party, which is now firmly in control of the Nehru-Gandhi family, appears to be struggling to shed the arrogant and elitist tags associated to its leaders even now.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: November 22, 2017 3:28 PM
congress, narendra modi, narendra modi meme, youth congress, rahul gandhi Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders after paying their last respects to veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi at AICC in New Delhi on Monday. Dasmunsi, who was in coma since 2008, passed away at a hospital in New Delhi on Monday morning. (PTI Photo)

Political environment in the country has changed completely in the 21st century. Politicians can no longer afford to appear arrogant and elitist, more so because millions of tweeting and typing hands are now always at work – to show such leaders their place. But the Congress party, which is now firmly in control of the Nehru-Gandhi family, appears to be struggling to shed the arrogant and elitist tags associated to its leaders even now. It is ironic at present in a way because the party has invested a lot in building its social media capital recently. The latest incident is of Youth Congress advising PM Narendra Modi to sell tea through a meme.

Even as the party has officially distanced itself from the meme, the harm has already been done. For the Youth Congress is not a group of school going teenagers who take fun in circulating such memes. Posted ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections, which the Congress war machinery is eyeing as a comeback launch pad for its not-so successful soon-to-be president Rahul Gandhi, the meme has given BJP an issue to rake up the Gujarati pride, and also the alleged issue of Congress being historically apathetic to Gujaratis, in the upcoming polls. This is not the first time when Congress has shot itself in the foot. Here are some examples:

1. During the UPA-2, Rahul Gandhi had himself shown his arrogance by trashing a bill prepared by the then Manmohan Singh government. Talking about his view on the ordinance that was framed to save convicted legislators from disqualification, Rahul had said that in his “opinion” the ordinance was “complete nonsense. It should be torn up and thrown away.” Even as the ordinance was questionable as it aimed to protect convicted lawmakers, Rahul’s remarks had stunned everyone as he was a ruling party MP, and moreover, his mother was calling the shots in the government.

More recently, Rahul had targeted PM Narendra Modi after the surgical strikes last year and said the latter was doing “khoon ki dalali” with the lives of soldiers.

2. During 2007 election campaign in Gujarat, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had erred by throwing ‘Maut Ka Saudagar’ jibe at Narendra Modi. Her comment evoked sympathy for Narendra Modi across Gujarat and helped it more.

3. In September this year, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh had tweeted a meme that had derogatory word against Modi. The meme posted by Digvijaya had a picture of PM Modi with text next to it that read, “Mere do achievements 1.) Bhakton ko C** banaya 2.) C*** ko Bhakt banaya.” Singh had, however, added a caveat, saying, “Not mine but couldn’t help posting it. My apologies to the person concerned. He is the best in the art of fooling!” This quote is an apparent jab at Prime Minister Modi.”

4. The ‘Chaiwala’ jibe against Modi was first made by senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar ahead of the 2014 General elections. in January that year, Aiyar had said Modi can never become PM but he can distribute tea.

5. Recently, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had shocked everyone with a pun on Miss World Manushi Chhillar but targeting PM Narendra Modi. It, however, went horribly wrong for the MP from Kerala.

5. Recently, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had shocked everyone with a pun on Miss World Manushi Chhillar but targeting PM Narendra Modi. It, however, went horribly wrong for the MP from Kerala.

There are many examples to quote. However, Congress is not guilty alone. It is also true that BJP workers don’t leave any opportunity to mock Congress leaders. Even PM Modi had last year made a joke on Manmohan Singh in Parliament. However, in the changed political scenario, Congress looks to be more in need to shed arrogance and elitism to gain voters’ trust. Will the soon-to-be Congress president Rahul Gandhi managed to do that?

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