If you talk too much, you are bound to say things that you will regret eventually. Wise words. The former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh perhaps understood it better than anybody but took it a tad bit too far. But Narendra Modi clearly seems to be learning this invaluable lesson the hard way.
Modi, in full form, was addressing the Indian community in Shanghai. He has been told that he is a great orator and public speaking is what he is the best at. Hence he was full of confidence. According to a report, this is what he said: "Earlier, you felt ashamed of being born Indian, now you feel proud to represent the country. Indians abroad had all hoped for a change in government last year."
The Twitterati wasn't going to let that one go, would it?
Modi: 1yr ago,Indians abroad celebrated our win. And sang, the bad days are gone. earlier you were ashamed,today you are proud of India— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) May 16, 2015
While some people on Twitter were demanding apologies from Modi for his comment, what followed was another piece of news about Modi saying something similar to a massive gathering at a grand reception in Seoul.
Modi said that people used to lament about what sin they had committed in their previous birth that they were born in India. There used to be a point in time when people used to regret being born in India and businessmen wanted to leave the country for better opportunities abroad, he said. But now, he added, those people are saying they are ready to come back even if their incomes are lower than in other places. "The mood has changed," he added, going on to assert that his government had changed sentiments within one year of assuming office.
One can imagine what followed. Complete outrage.
Just talked to Brahma. He's not ashamed to have been born Indian either. #ModiInsultsIndia— God (@TheTweetOfGod) May 19, 2015
With due respect to PM & the NRIs in Seoul cheering him, I don't believe we were ever ashamed of being Indian at any time. Say if u disagree— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) May 18, 2015
Will Modi be equally proud showing off selfies with our poor kids bending over bidis they are being forced to roll in "family enterprises"?— RaviKunnath (@KunnathRavi) May 17, 2015
I'm not ashamed to have been born in India. I'm not proud to have been born in India. Pride & shame are for actions in which I had a choice.— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) May 19, 2015
The "my PM is a big proud imposing world figure" argument has limited cachet before it starts backfiring in India. Careful.— SayNoToPaneer (@sidin) May 17, 2015
Suprabhatam! Always proud to be Indian. Have a great day.— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) May 19, 2015
????? ?? ???? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ??, ??? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ???? ???? ???? #ModiInsultsIndia— Ashamed Jumla Man™ (@jumla_man) May 19, 2015
Remember the days when #AdarshLiberals proudly said they identified Internet Hindus by checking whether the Twitter bio says 'Proud Indian'— IndiaSpeaks (@IndiaSpeaksPR) May 19, 2015
2002 Gujarat riot victims say they would be proud to be Indian if they were still alive— RushdieExplainsIndia (@RushdieExplains) May 19, 2015
Ppl may dislike many things happening in India.Go abroad for better opportunities.But they're NOT ashamed of being Indian. #ModiInsultsIndia— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) May 19, 2015
#ModiInsultsIndia is a worldwide top trend because it has offended the sensibilities of every Indian. A national disgrace beyond description— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) May 19, 2015
#ModiInsultsIndia was eventually toppled over from its numero uno position by another Modi-related hashtag clearly started by fans, bhakts, supporters, called #ModiIndiasPride.