Prime Minister Narendra Modi was here on Friday and #GoBackModi hashtag trended on Twitter like every time he visits the city. The only difference this time was that the Tamil Twitter trended the hashtag in Mandarin as Modi arrived here for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
#GoBackModi, the hashtag that caught the attention of the social media world in April 2018 and thereafter whenever the Prime Minister visited the state, was trended the whole day on Friday, while another hashtag #TNWelcomesModi, supported by the Tamil Nadu BJP, was also trending but at a distant second.
In fact, seven hashtags related to the high-profile visit was trending in the Top 20 list on Friday afternoon. #GoBackModi, #TNWelcomesModi, #TNWelcomes_XiJinping, #MamallapuramSummit and #GoBackSadistModi are some of the hashtags that were trending on Twitter.
The icing on the cake this time was the trending of #GoBackModi in Mandarin. Though the tweets were either in English or in Tamil, the accounts used the hashtag in Mandarin that conveyed the same meaning.
The hashtag in Mandarin was used in more than 31,000 tweets at 3 pm on Friday, while 1,54,000 tweets had the mention of #GoBackModi in English and 43,000 mentions for #TNWelcomes_XiJinping. #TNWelcomesModi was also trending on Twitter with 44,000 tweets at 3 pm.
It has become a fashion for the Tamil Twitter to trend anything that is opposed to the BJP and Friday’s trending of the hashtag was nothing new. The Tamil twitter had also trended the hashtag on September 30 when Modi had visited Chennai to participate in an event organised by Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M).
#GoBackModi hashtags were used in tweets that said they will welcome a guest like Xi but not the Prime Minister. The Tamil Twitter users were also harsh on others who pointed out that trending an hashtag asking the Prime Minister who has come to hold talks with a foreign leader was wrong.
#GoBackModi first trended on April 12, 2018 when Modi was in Chennai to inaugurate the Defence Expo and participate in a few other programmes as the way of Tamils’ opposing his visit for his government’s alleged silence and inaction on issues related to the state.
The BJP and Modi supporters have come a long way in trying to match with the anti-BJP supporters in the Twitter world who have trend the #GoBackModi hashtag whenever the prime minister had visited the state. But as months passed, the BJP is now giving a tough competition by getting hashtags of its own trend.