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The Lesson We Can Learn from PM Modi as Rahul Gandhi Receives Notice from Election Commission on Panauti Remark

By Anu Lal 

Column: "Unquote


The term “Panauti” in Hindi means bad luck. I made sure I knew the meaning of the word well and clearly before I jumped into a quick update on events that unfolded after India’s defeat to Australia in the Men’s Cricket World Cup. This happened a few days ago. Panauti became the trending word on the X platform just as the nation was settling down to come to terms with the defeat we suffered at the hands of the Australian team. Being a Keralite, I wondered what the term meant.

The first sane response from any normal person in such a situation would be to Google the word up. I did the same. The discovery came immediately. The answer was simple, it was a place in Nepal, a village, I think. I thought to myself, why are they calling our PM the name of a Napali village?

That’s when I called my friend and she clarified that the meaning of the word is of the derogatory nature that I mentioned earlier. The world trended, and I think it still is. On the day of the Indian defeat in the Cricket World Cup, the word trended alongside PM’s name. Sadly, as it happens, the cricket fans were looking for someone to blame for the failure of their team.

Seeing the Twitter X page, one might be tempted to think that this time, no one could save PM Modi. That was what Rahul Gandhi also thought, perhaps when he was addressing that rally where someone from the crowd nudged him to talk about “Panauti” and he, quite magnanimously took the bait. The Congress leader has now incurred the wrath of the Election Commission and received a notice related to this derogatory remark.

At the end of the day, the question remains, what is the political outcome of the post-World cup fiasco? PM Modi was harshly branded as a bad omen on Twitter X and his political opponents used the occasion to further insult him with a video clip that showed him walking away from the captain of the Australian team, as if in an act of insulting the winning team’s captain. The full video surfaced only the next day, which showed that the version propagated the previous day was not only false but was full of malignant intentions. PM Modi congratulated the captain in the full video. The video shows him appreciating the winning captain and leaving the stage in a humble gesture as if to give space to the winning team to celebrate– an intention just the opposite of what we had seen the previous day, in the malignant short clip.

While Rahul Gandhi is seen faltering in his focus and stepping into the slippery slope of branding PM Modi a bad omen, at the mere suggestion of an audience, PM Modi is seen visiting the team members of the Indian cricket team in a gesture of kindness and support. He is seen motivating the members of the defeated Indian team, a gesture the people of India should learn from. While the common people among the cricket fans were mostly taking angry jabs at whoever and whatever they could set their gaze upon as a cause of the failure of the team, their Prime Minister was consoling the defeated team, like a true leader.

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