Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is being trolled on social media for saying that millennials are responsible for slump in the sales of automobiles in India. Her statement led to a flood of memes on Twitter, mocking her for her misplaced argument. Congress Party decided to cash in on it with a series of memes that it chose to tweet from its official handle. However, not all of them were in good taste. There this one tweet which is captioned, “Innerwear sales are down because Jockey or Nothing and millennials choose nothing.” Honestly, one expected better sense of humour than underwear jokes from a national party.

SOME TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Indian Finance Minister is being trolled for her comments on the automobile sector slump.
  • To cash in on the conversation on social media, Congress Party shared a series of tweets.
  • However, one of the tweets was in a very poor taste.
  • Why has social media reach taken precedence over political duty in our country?

It is amusing that the tweet is still around on Congress’ social media handle, and no one has taken it down yet, despite many people having pointed out that it is in bad taste.

Yes, the Finance Minister’s statement was bizarre, to say the least, however, yet it didn’t call for such substandard trolling from the opposition. The political discourse of this country often goes to juvenile levels of potshots in the name of satire. The country’s economy is in shambles, and while sharing memes is cool, one expected the opposition to be raising tough questions. But then can we really blame the party for its social media strategy? Isn’t this what seems to be working these days.

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Digital PR has become an integral part of publicity, campaigning and developing a connect with the electorate for political parties. And when 240 characters are all you get, it seems easier to engage in a seemingly breezy or casual diatribe, so as to get more followers, likes etc. So, at the end of the day, Congress or BJP or any other political party for that matter, is using social media for political gain and thus it must resort to measures which will help it gain popularity and increase its social media reach. Using memes in their tweets has the party’s desire to grab attention of young voters written all over it.

Has our retweeting of substandard stuff, casual memes discouraged our politicians from taking their jobs seriously? Who gets more limelight these days?

As social media users, we need to ask ourselves, are we in any way responsible for the endorsement of such crass memes by political parties? Has our retweeting of substandard stuff, casual memes discouraged our politicians from taking their jobs seriously? Who gets more limelight these days? Those who ask hard questions or raise relevant concerns, or those who spout jokes on undergarments and makes ludicrous statements about magical powers of riverbed rocks? The political discourse we get is the one that we deserve. If we continue to give more weight to sexist jokes, ridiculous memes and seemingly witty one-liners, instead of in-depth arguments from our leaders, which are backed by research and data, Indian politics will continue to be a problem, rather than a solution.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.

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