What About Mahatma Gandhi? Twitter on PM’s ‘Andolanjeevi’ Remark
Twitter users are now changing their handles to reflect ‘andolanjeevis’ as a badge of honour.
In the backdrop of the international condemnation of the government’s inaction towards the farmers’ protests, PM Modi introduced the term ‘andolanjeevi’ in the Parliament on Monday, 8 February, to describe citizens who live from one andolan (agitation) to another.
Twitter has erupted with strong statements condemning PM Modi’s speech, including those by Opposition parties and politicians like Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav.
Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan tweeted that PM Modi’s words is an insult to farmers. He wrote, “The farmer is an integral element which is keeping the humanity alive. Using the word 'andolanjeevi' sarcastically for farmers' agitation is an insult to farmers. It is disrespectful to them. Such usage is unacceptable."
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav slammed PM Modi by himself coining a term ‘Andolan bhogi’ in jest, adding that these kinds of people are happy to become status quoists and enjoy the labour of the movements led by andolanjeevis who raise their voice against injustice.
Farmers’ movement Sympathisers React on Twitter
Several users on Twitter have changed their handle to display ‘andolanjeevi’ as a badge of honour, including writer-activist, Meena Kandasamy, and journalist Rana Ayub.
Farmer Leaders React to PM’s Remark
Strongly objecting to PM Modi’s comment in the House, farmer unions have said that the agitation has an important role to play in a democracy and that the Prime Minister has “insulted farmers”.
In a statement, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) pointed out that, “Farmers would be more than happy to get back to farming if the government at least now accepts their legitimate demands.”
“Farmers would like to remind the PM that it is ‘andolan’ that have liberated India from colonial rulers and that is why we are proud to be ‘Andolan-jivis’[sic.]. It is the BJP and it’s predecessors that never did any ‘andolan’ against Britishers and they were always against the ‘andolans’, they are still scared of public movements,” read the SKM statement.
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