Activists plan ‘Twitter Storm’ against PM’s visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the city has prompted the resurfacing of a once-trending twitter hashtag, which dogged his visit to Chennai in September 2019.

On Tuesday evening, a variation of the hashtag #ModiGoBack began to appear on Twitter, as part of a campaign by Bengaluru-based activists to prompt the national leader to do an about-face. 

“We want him to know that he is not welcome in South India because of his actions – his centralisation of power, his attempt to impose Hindi on South India and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA),” said activist Manohar Elavarthy, who was involved in the planning in an ancillary way.

Elavarthy said while he has a twitter account, that he is not social-media-savvy, and that he did not even possess an Instagram account until last week.

Instead, the idea of the twitter campaign was said to be the brainchild of several activists involved in Hum Bharat ke Log, a loose affiliation of several social activist groups, which have coalesced in their opposition to the CAA.

Long way to go

In September 2019, Tamil Nadu’s #GoBackModi campaign resulted in 76,300 tweets. Twitter hashtag campaigns by other activist groups in Britain and the United States, especially against US President Donald Trump have shot in six-digit figures. However, as of Wednesday night, Bengaluru’s #ModiGoBack appeared in only 43 twitter posts.

We expect this number to increase on Thursday,” said Mani Padagalingam, another activist involved in the campaign. He promised that a “Twitter storm” would take place from 8 to 10 pm on Thursday when large numbers of young people are expected to be online.

Modi’s two-day visit to the city from Thursday will see him attend a religious programme at Sree Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru at 2 pm on Thursday, following by an awards ceremony at 3.30 pm. After this, he is set to visit the Aeronautical Development Establishment in Bengaluru at 6 pm. On Friday, he will inaugurate the International Science Conference at Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra (University of Agriculture, India).

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