It was 2017. Rahul Gandhi was addressing the public at a rally in Gujarat. In his 26 minutes long speech, there was a portion where he criticized Mr. Modi for his flaws in keeping promises.
Rahul Gandhi mocked Mr. Modi by saying Mr. Modi had promised the people of Gujarat that he will install such a machine that if they feed in potatoes from one side, they’ll get gold from the other side.
But, what happened next?
People started making fun of him based on a cropped 20-second long video with that portion only. People made fun of his stupid statement without knowing anything from the front, anything from the back.
Personally, I don’t have any problem with making fun of anyone. That’s fun.
But, the problem arrives when people judge someone’s ability and competency by just a 20-second clip.
And, this was neither the first time nor the last when people considered Rahul Gandhi an idiot. From the very beginning of BJP’s campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, an important strategy of their campaign was to mock the opposition. So, they enforced their IT cell to make memes and funny posts that mock Rahul Gandhi by calling him “Pappu”.
But, why “Pappu”?
For decades, “Pappu” used to be a household name for the kids living in small towns and rural areas, especially in the Hindi belt. In 2005, Cadbury launched an advertisement campaign that contained a line “Pappu pass ho gaya” (Pappu passed in the exams). That ad went viral on television.
Following that, in 2008, a film released named ‘Jaane tu ya jaane na’ that had a song “Pappu can’t dance”. That song went viral too among the youngsters.
That’s how the name “Pappu” lost its innocence and became a symbol of stupidity.
And, if you go back in time, our former PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi was called a “Gungi Gudiya” (Dumb doll) by the former CM of Madhya Pradesh Mr. Dwarka Prasad Mishra.
NEW DELHI — India’s parliament on Friday disqualified the leader of the main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, a day after a court found him guilty of defamation over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname and sentenced him to two years in prison.
Gandhi “stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha,” parliament said, referring to the lower house of parliament. Congress members held protests in some parts of the country on Friday against Gandhi’s conviction and two-year-old jail sentence.
The case against Gandhi dates to an election rally in 2019 where he said, “Why do all thieves have Modi as their surname?” In his speech, he then went on to name fugitive Indian diamond tycoon Nirav Modi, banned Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi, and Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi is not related to either of the other two.
The defamation case against Gandhi was filed by a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the western state of Gujarat. The complainant, Purnesh Modi, said Gandhi’s comments had “defamed the entire Modi community.”
Modi is a common last name in Gujarat.