Chennai: It’s become routine now that the anti-saffron brigade in Tamil Nadu trigger the #GoBackModi hashtag every time the Prime Minister lands in the state and Friday was no exception. There was an ‘interesting’ add-on this time though; the Tamil Twitter also trended this hashtag in Mandarin to catch the Chinese eye watching developments relating to President Xi Jinping’s informal summit with Modi.
As of 7 pm, the Mandarin hashtag figured in over 32,000 tweets, while 2.07 lakh tweets figured in the #GoBackModi handle and 43,000 mentions for #TNWelcomes-_XiJinping.
A few poked fun at the PM wearing a veshti, which they concluded was an act of deceit rather than a gesture to truly identify himself with the Tamil people.
“…I checked with my Chinese colleague. The words #???? actually means Back to Modi”, tweeted Karthikk @karthikk_h.
“Sad to see #GoBackModi trending. The PM is coming to TN as PM of India for a diplomatic summit. Political armies must stop using social media for narrow agendas. Agree?” tweeted TV journalist and author Rajdeep Sardesai, @sardesairajdeep. And he promptly got slammed by the anti-saffron twitterati.
By the way, reports also popped up here and there alleging that the #GoBackModi trending has the backing of “Pakistan-based elements”.
The saffron brigade too got active on Twitter to counter the hate campaign against their leader and their #TNWelcomesModi also trended well with about 45,000 tweets by early evening.
At least seven hashtags related to the Modi-Xi summit were trending in the top-20 list by this time — such as #MamallapuramSummit, #TNWelcomesModi, #TNWelcomes_XiJinping, #GoBackModi and #GoBackSadistModi.
#GoBackModi had first hit the social media in April 12, 2018 when the PM came to inaugurate the Defence Expo and became a sensation of sorts globally, particularly among the Tamil Diaspora. Since then, it became a fad among the Tamil twitterati of the anti-saffron class to trend whatever is opposed to Modi during his trips to Tamil Nadu. The last time this happened was when the PM was in Chennai on September 30.