New Delhi: A day after announcing that 'Ramayana' will be aired on Doordarshan starting Saturday, "on public demand", Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar posted a picture of himself watching the show from his couch at home.
"I am watching 'Ramayana' , are you," the Union Minister tweeted, tagging Doordarshan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP's national handle (@BJP4India) and the BJP's Maharashtra unit (@BJP4Maharashtra). He also used the hashtags #StayHomeStaySafe and #IndiaFightsCorona.
Within minutes, Twitter was flooded with tweets criticising the Union Minister for his priorities at a time when the whole country is facing hardships because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the lockdown.
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan tweeted, "As crores starve & walk hundreds of miles home due to forced lockdown, our heartless ministers celebrate consuming & feeding the opium of Ramayana & Mahabharata to the people!"
As crores starve & walk hundreds of miles home due to forced lockdown, our heartless ministers celebrate consuming & feeding the opium of Ramayana & Mahabharata to the people! https://t.co/eJqFkBmZu5— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) March 28, 2020
"No am trying to order groceries from 5 am and failing. Can't get out as building being sanitised. Al. Also cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, washing clothes and just finished a concall. [sic]," tweeted Twitter user Priyashmita Guha.
Another Twitter user compared Javadekar to the last Queen of France before the French Revolution using her famous quote, "1789 : Let them eat Cake. (Marie Antoinette). 2020 : Let them watch Ramayana. (Prakash Javadekar)."
A few hours of trolling later, the Union Minister took down the controversial tweet and replaced it with a picture of himself sitting with folded legs on an armchair while on call, with a bunch of work papers on a stool in front of him.
"Home has become office ! Connecting and coordinating with Officers of my Ministries for facilitation during the lockdown!" he captioned the image.
Javadekar's move of taking down his original tweet brought on another slew of angry tweets.
National Coordinator, Digital Communications and Social Media of the Indian National Congress turned the Union Minister's image into a video by replacing the TV screen with a video of a citizen who was in tears because of the lockdown as he was not able to go home.
"Here, fixed it for @PrakashJavdekar, for him to understand the gravity of the situation India is in today. I hope, #Ramayan will help him awaken his conscience, if it is not dead already, and he will learn to do the right thing - which is to go out and help rescue the poor!"
He followed it up with a screenshot of Minister Javadekar's deleted tweet with the caption, "Why has @PrakashJavdekar deleted this tweet? There is nothing wrong in watching Ramayan & tweeting about it. Instead of deleting tweets, learn from Ramayan, do the right thing, rescue crores of poor daily wagers who are stuck & tweet about it! Deleting this tweet is cowardice!"
Why has @PrakashJavdekar deleted this tweet? There is nothing wrong in watching Ramayan & tweeting about it. Instead of deleting tweets, learn from Ramayan, do the right thing, rescue crores of poor daily wagers who are stuck & tweet about it!— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) March 28, 2020
Deleting this tweet is cowardice! pic.twitter.com/NFUDqT9Ybx
Twitter user Deepam uploaded a picture of migrant workers' exodus on foot to their homes and wrote, "Home minister Amit Shah is nowhere to be seen Smriti Irani is busy playing Antakshari Prakash Javdekar is busy watching #Ramayana And these people are busy fighting for their survival."
Meanwhile, the #WhereIsAmitShah has been trending as the Union Home Minister has not yet spoken about the situation in the country.
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