Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as “the Nelson Mandela of India”, virtually taking Twitter by storm as #YoBadalSoMandela began trending on the second spot of the social networking microsite within minutes.
The reactions, ranging from mocking the adulation to settling political brownie points, followed after Modi told a gathering in New Delhi: “Badal Sahib is sitting here...he is the Nelson Mandela of India. The only crime of people like Badal Sahib was that they had political views different from those in power.”
The function, attended by senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Kalyan Singh, was organised to commemorate the 113th birth anniversary of socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan.
The Prime Minister said that there were some “special families” for whom pages of history had been written after they made very little sacrifices. However, he said, it was unfortunate that very few in the country were aware of the fact that in free India, Badal had been jailed for around two decades solely for political reasons. Modi said the Punjab leader had suffered just for opposing those in power.
Politicians poke fun
Political leaders from the Congress to the Aam Aadmi Party to the Shiv Sena joined Tweeple in promptly to latching on to the “Nelson Mandela of India” remark.
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa tweeted: Under Badal Govt farmers are dying,70% youth of Punjab is hooked to drugs & PM Modi calls Mr Badal India’s Nelson Mandela #YoBadalSoMandela!
Under Badal Govt farmers are dying,70% youth of Punjab is hooked to drugs & PM Modi calls Mr Badal India's Nelson Mandela #YoBadalSoMandela— Partap Singh Bajwa (@Partap_Sbajwa) October 11, 2015
@priyankac19, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi joined the Badal bashing by writing #YoBadalSoMandela’s contribution for the farmers of Punjab and retweeting a Hindustan Times special report, Harvest of despair.
Punjab Aam Aadmi Party convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur tweeted: Nelson Mandela of Pnjb wre Sant Longowal nd Jathedar Mohan Singh Tur who sacrificed dere whole Life 4 d sake f State,Religion nd people f PB
Nelson Mandela of Pnjb wre Sant Longowal nd Jathedar Mohan Singh Tur who sacrificed dere whole Life 4 d sake f State,Religion nd people f PB— Sucha Singh Chotepur (@SChotepur) October 11, 2015
@the_ShivSena .@narendramodi Don’t forget to meet Martin Luther King Jr. in Mumbai, i.e. Uddhav Thackrey #YoBadalSoMandela
Tweeple mock Modi
Tweeple also compared Modi to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is often mocked on social media platforms for his statements.
One user wrote, “With this statement Sri Narendra Modi ji proved that there is no difference between him and Rahul Gandhi.. #YoBadalSoMandela @PMOIndia.”
Another tweeted, “SoniaGandhi : #YoBadalSoMandela then my son is Albert Einstein.”
Not only this memes and tweets on Nelson Mandela’s reaction to the PM’s statement also followed.
“There was some whispers heard near #NelsonMandela’s grave, when people went closer they heard ‘Shut Up Modi, Just Shut Up’ #YoBadalSoMandela, “a user tweeted.
@i_am_saurabh wrote: Bharat ne apna Mandela khud banaya (India has made its own Mandela). Yehi toh hai (This is truly) Make in India.
भारत ने अपना मंडेला खुद बनाया। यही तो है MAKE IN INDIA #YoBadalSoMandela"— 100rabh (@i_am_saurabh_) October 11, 2015
Badal is Nelson Mandela because he spent long time in Jail? Then by Modi's Logic, Amit Shah is Shri Ram. He was banished from his State— Joy (@Joydas) October 11, 2015
Modi is so fun - he is compensating acche din with acche laughter #YoBadalSoMandela— Milind Patil (@ActIndians) October 11, 2015
@amitsanghvi1973 tweeted: After 50 years in Exam
Q- Who was Nelson Mandela?
A- philanthropist in South Africa.
B- Result - Fail
Clearly, this time Modi unwittingly provided fodder for the trolls on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.