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Patra stresses on the word 'nonsense' that backfires on Modi

When 'nonsense' made a lot of sense
Sambit Patra

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 22.07.20, 02:31 AM

Nonsense. Nonsense. Nonsense. Nonsense….

Sambit Patra counted four. Had Narendra Modi done what his party spokesperson did, the Prime Minister would have reached 1.11 lakh at 8.30pm and could still be counting.

#Nonsense_Modi topped the Twitter trending list in the country for several hours on Tuesday after a routine primetime debate on Monday night exploded into a social media indictment of the Prime Minister.

Such a storm in a Twitter cup need not signify much but the hashtag did take a life of its own and morphed itself into a magnet for grievances of all shapes and sizes.

Tens of thousands of Twitter users vented their ire on matters as varied as the handling of the pandemic, the migrant fiasco, the economic crisis, the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the thrust for the new citizenship regime, job loss, the weakening of institutions, the targeting of the media, the stifling of any kind of opposition, the plight of farmers, the Chinese aggression, foreign policy, the Rafale deal, the implementation of the GST and the all-weather demonetisation.

The genesis of the virtual assault lay in a TV debate on Monday evening when BJP spokesperson Patra squared off with his Congress counterpart Supriya Srinate.


Patra had pounced on the multiple use of the word “nonsense” by Srinate who was trying to convey the message that all serious questions on the Ladakh border situation were being construed as an attempt to assist China.

After the face-off, as usual, the Right-wing ecosystem sought to milk the word “nonsense” and floated the hashtag “Nonsense Rahul”.

But #Nonsense_Rahul quickly fizzled out and #Nonsense_Modi began swiftly climbing up the charts till it reached the top spot in India and adamantly remained perched there for a time long enough in the fast-changing world of social media for many to sit up and take note.

On Monday morning, Rahul had delivered a staggering punch by suggesting that Prime Minister Modi’s “strongman” image had become a liability, and China was exploiting it to the hilt.

At the debate later on Monday night on India Today, Srinate told Patra: “We will ask questions and you have no, no nonsensical business to point us in the direction and say we are assisting China.”

“It’s absolute nonsense that they talk of assistance of China. You can’t run away from questions,” Srinate added, asserting the Opposition’s now-imperilled right to ask questions to the government.

Patra responded: “I don’t understand. Four times the word ‘nonsense’ was used here in this debate. Who is nonsense? Who is nonsense is my question? Whom do you call nonsense?”

The BJP spokesperson then sought refuge behind the army. “The Indian Army is nonsense? Do you say the Indian Army has surrendered? The Indian Army is not capable of defending...?” Patra asked.

Srinate intervened to clear the air: “Sambit Patra is nonsense and your party president.”

Patra shot back: “Rahul Gandhi is the biggest nonsense….”

He went on saying “shut up” and sought the TV anchor’s protection from being called “nonsense”.

Later, Patra took his case to the Twitter court, attaching a clip of the debate to a post: “When this ARROGANT spokeswoman called me & My Party President “NONSENSE” multiple times.…”

“I courteously reminded her that ‘RAHUL GANDHI IS THE BIGGEST NONSENSE OF INDIA’…. Not just Nonsense… a TRAITOR too… #NonsenseRahul,” Patra added.

“Aww! The epitome of arrogance on Indian TV complains of impertinence??? A taste of your own medicine, Dr Patra?” Srinate replied on Twitter.

Soon, #Nonsense_Sambit Patra began trending on Twitter. By Tuesday night, the hashtag had garnered well over a lakh tweets.

On Tuesday night, the BJP began another determined attempt to get even, promoting the Twitter hashtag “SoniaJinRahulPing”. Patra himself tweeted with the hashtag.

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