Barely minutes after controversial Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik joined the BJP on Sunday, Twitter was overcome with outrage over the party's decision. And as soon as reports of him being forced to exit came in, Twitter decided to pat its back.
Muthalik became the face of a huge controversy in 2009 after members of his Sri Ram Sene attacked a Mangalore pub and allegedly assaulted women inside. He is also infamous for his opposition to Valentine's Day. This drove Twitter users to spend all Sunday criticising the BJP's decision to bring him under its fold.
"Lovely move by BJP to get in Pramod Muthalik: they'd already alienated Muslims, now it's time to alienate women and all other humans," tweeted popular stand-up artist Sorabh Pant.
Another user @MalikAshok tweeted: "Pramod Muthalik? Ridiculous. Is anybody in the BJP doing due diligence before handing out invitations to the first man at the door?"
#nomuthalik, #pinkchaddi, and #pramodmuthalik were trending on Twitter throughout the day. #pinkchaddi because "The Pink Chaddi Campaign" was a protest movement launched by a "consortium of pub-going, loose and forward women" in response to Sri Ram Sene's Mangalore pub attack.
But it wasn't like Twitter had it all out against Muthalik. A user, @kamleshksingh, among many others in Muthalik's favour, tweeted, "Why bring up Pramod Muthalik's recent past? Now, his agenda is development. Why can't people move on and bury women's riots for development?"
However, the swell against the saffron party's decision to induct Muthalik was so strong that such tweets looked like needles in a haystack.
The news of rejection of Muthalik's membership later in the day received a thumbs-up from the Twitterati. They seemed to take some credit for the BJP's decision. "GREAT NEWS! Pramod Muthalik inclusion into BJP suspended! Power of Twitter! Great super fast decision by @BJP4India @BJPRajnathSingh" tweeted @shHarranu.
Many were still not convinced after the BJP's decision against the Sri Ram Sene chief. "Muthalik will probably be welcomed back in if Modi wins. This is what you get when you opt for development," tweeted @KhariBiskut.
"People like Muthalik don't deserve a place in Politics. The fact the BJP wanted him in, and have now done a U-turn exposes their hypocrisy" tweeted another user, @TheIndianGunner, to his over 1,000 followers.
Muthalik's day out on Twitter:
Pramod Muthalik now surrendering library cards and getting no dues certificate made from the accountant— Khamba (@gkhamba) March 23, 2014
So how does the local BJP who welcomed Muthalik & followers officially with garland and banner feel?— Reality Check India (@realitycheckind) March 23, 2014
So instead of black ink, shouldn't people consider spraying pink ink on Muthalik kinds?— Harshad Deshpande (@d_harshad_d) March 23, 2014
Poor Muthalik, we didnt even have to mail him pink chaddis to humiliate him this time. We just tweeted them.— Rohan Joshi (@mojorojo) March 23, 2014
Twitter Outrage forces BJP to rollback Muthalik's membership. Time to wish him Happy Valentine's Day, poor thing..— Harneet Singh (@Harneetsin) March 23, 2014
The Congress needs to field Honey Singh against Muthalik. The unstoppable force of partying Vs the immovable object against it.— Khamba (@gkhamba) March 23, 2014
Dear BJP, your own Manohar Parrikkar took a stand against Muthalik, and the guy's not even Nigerian. See?— Vir Das (@thevirdas) March 23, 2014
BTW @bangdu could have tied up with Muthalik. One has Gulaab Gang, other has Gulaab Chaddis.— Greatbong (@greatbong) March 23, 2014
Muthalik and BJP are back to being girlfriend and boyfriend after their short marriage.— The Brown Brumby (@brownbrumby) March 23, 2014
Chalo, social media has done some good. Media sources report that due to Twitter outrage, Pramod Muthalik will not be India's Oscar entry— Rohan Joshi (@mojorojo) March 23, 2014
*Mutalik Joins BJP* *727 girls outrage on twitter and say they wont vote for BJP* Rajnath Singh: LOL Narendra Modi: LOL Barack Obama: LOL— Champ-u-terology (@BolshoyBooze) March 23, 2014
So if BJP comes to power Muthalik wont be made the Minister for Women and Child Development. Wonder what modi will do now.— The Brown Brumby (@brownbrumby) March 23, 2014