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4-min read

On April Fools' Day, 'Pappu Diwas' Trends on Twitter

The fake 'manifesto' is satirical take on the the BJP-led government that has been in power since 2014. All the images are marked with an inverted lotus logo, a spoof of BJP's party symbol.


Updated:April 2, 2019, 4:48 PM IST
On April Fools' Day, 'Pappu Diwas' Trends on Twitter
Source: Twitter

April Fools' Day is usually a light-hearted affair, a day dedicated to entertaining pranks and innocent jesting. However, when it comes to India during elections, nothing is light-hearted or innocent, even April Fools' Day antics.

With the first phase of polling of the Lok Sabha 2019 elections scheduled to begin within less than a fortnight, political parties seem well-prepared to utilise all opportunities and avenues to campaign both on and offline.

The jokes started early on April Fools' Day with Indian National Congress taking to Twitter to post their version of the BJP "manifesto". The spoof document, published on Scribd.com, is a satirical take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government that has been in power since 2014. All the images are marked with an inverted lotus logo, a spoof of BJP's party symbol.

The document started with a play on BJP's name, which it refers to as "Bharatiya Jumla Party" and a play on the name of the government's "Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat" (One India Best India) initiative, which the spoof manifesto changed to "Ek Bharat Berozgaar Bharat" (One India Unemployed India) and its pet chant, "Chowkidaar Chor Hai".

As per the fake manifesto, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Vision for India" included "dictatorship over democracy", "hopeless, unemployed youth", "oppression of minorities" and "advertising overwork, PR for life" among other things.

Slamming the 'Main Bhi Chowkidaar' (I too am chowkidaar) campaign, the Congress wrote in the spoof manifesto that chowkidaar was only meant to "provide protection to fraudsters" and to "fudge data and hide reports".

In the spoof manifesto's "Preface" Congress slammed the BJP government's performance in the past five years that the Opposition decided to get even more cheeky. Listing 'fake' accomplishments of the BJP government in true April Fools' style it called the party's reign of "tyranny, tarnish and turmoil".

Some of the fake factoids and achievements listed in the section include giving India its ever first Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), first ever "blog minister" (Arun Jaitley), "first ever-pliant media" and other such accolades.

Meanwhile, supporters of the ruling party, as well as its members, have been trending hashtag "Pappu Diwas" and "Pappu Day" to mark April Fools' Day. Trolls have been targeting the Gandhi scion and circulating images and memes with the hashtag, which was one of the top five India trends in the first half of the day.

It is common now for both parties as well as others to use popular social media trends and viral pop-culture references in their social media posts in order to trend and connect with young, new-age social media users. And parties have increasingly been using the spoof photo/video/meme/satire format to talk about contentious and complicated issues.

As per traffic, roughly over 29,000 tweets were posted under the #PappuDiwas hashtag on March 31-April 1.

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