“Simon, Go Back” was a singular phrase uttered in the revolution against the British rule in India, going from a mere slogan to a full-blown movement. Now, people in Tamil Nadu are drawing inspiration from that movement to protest India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he made his way to Chennai. Only this time, it’s a social media movement with the hashtag #GoBackModi trending.
With more than 75,000 tweets showing up at the time of writing this article, this hashtag has trended every time Modi has visited Chennai since April 2018, most notably during election campaigning in March and earlier this year in January.
While Modi managed to win with a majority during the 2019 Indian elections, Tamil Nadu remains one of the few Indian states insulated from his power, with the AIADMK, a centrist regional party, continuing to hold the reins.
So as Modi flew down to attend the convocation ceremony of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras on Monday, September 30, the people of Chennai made their anger towards the government with regards to everything, from unemployment to the controversial situation in Kashmir, voiced loud and clear.
In his speech at IIT, Modi even tried to flex how he spoke in Tamil during his recent trip to the US, but no one was having any of it, with many questioning how he can do that yet try to impose Hindi in the Tamil-speaking state at the same time.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) presumably tried to do damage control by getting #TNWelcomesModi to also trend, but the Twitterati were quick to call them out on this.
Looks like the ‘Fuck Modi’ protest that recently took place in New York could find a potential new fan base in Tamil Nadu.
Follow Shamani Joshi on Instagram.