Wednesday, May 29, 2024

‘He Nitished me’ to ‘Paltu Chacha: Internet flooded with Nitish Kumar’s memes


New Delhi: Nitish Kumar was the subject, social media the platform and levity the mood for many who used wordplay, snappy one-liners and cartoons to lampoon the Bihar chief minister for forming a new government with the BJP in another political somersault.

‘Paltu Chacha’, ‘Paltu Putra’ and ‘Paltu Ram’… the names were many. As political pundits analysed the JD-U chief’s latest move, humour in its many shades rolled out on Whatsapp, X, Facebook and Instagram with netizens putting on their comic caps, referencing the corporate world, cinema and cricket to make their points.

“He Nitished me” went the ‘translation’ for “Usne mujhe dokha diya” in a WhatsApp forward, the wordplay turning the veteran politician’s name into a verb. A new coinage as it were for ‘cheating’.

Tongue firmly in cheek, a post on X by the handle Kungfu Pande listed five corporate lessons. “Work like Nitish kumar, Love your job, not your company,” it said.

“5. Always be flexible. 4. Switch at the right time. 3. Never burn the bridges. 2. Be open to join the company again. Last but not the least… 1. Never quit without another offer in the hand,” the post read.

Kumar on Sunday resigned as chief minister of Bihar, saying “things were not working well” for him in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ and the opposition bloc INDIA. In his fifth switch in over a decade, he formed a new government with the BJP, a party he had dumped 18 months ago, and was sworn in as chief minister of the state for the ninth time.

Journalist Madhavan Narayanan suggested a cricket tournament format with a minor tweak in the rule of the game.

“BCCI is thinking of starting a new cricket tournament format to boost revenues and the game’s mass appeal. Halfway through a match the captain will be allowed to switch sides. It is going to be called the Nitish Cup,” he posted on X.

X user D Muthukrishnan propped Kumar as a “role model” for CEOs.

“If you got selected as CEO for 9 times despite all mergers and acquisitions, you’re the role model for CEOs in corporate India,” he posted.

There were several funny movie allusions.

A user on X posted a video of a scene from the movie “Andaz Apna Apna” to describe Bihar politics. With names superimposed on the clip, it showed Paresh Rawal (Nitish Kumar), Salman Khan (RJD) and Aamir Khan (Congress) struggling to sit on the same bike. Finally, ‘Nitish Kumar’ leaves with the bike, leaving the other two, his former alliance partners, behind.

The image of Kumar taking the oath as chief minister on Sunday was fodder for many.

One post featured a screen grab from “Munnabhai MBBS” with actor Sunil Dutt telling patient in hospital, “Pichli baar bhi aap yahin the? (You were here last time too, right?)”. Accompanying the picture was this caption: “Governor watching Nitish Kumar take oath for the ninth time. #Biharpolitics”.

Another post used the photograph of him taking oath and said: “#NitishKumar oath review: Why’s he still reading from the script?, By now he should’ve been doing it in his Pyjamas, Red & Black theme is suspicious. Is there a Netflix deal?, Will Chirag Paswan play Nitish if it’s not a docu? #BiharPolitics #BiharCM.”

“Nitish Kumar who was the CM of Bihar was disappointed with the work of Nitish Kumar, so he asked Nitish Kumar to resign and then Nitish Kumar became the new CM of Bihar. Repeat 8 more times,” added another.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh took his potshot too.

“After taking oath, Nitish Kumar ji forgot his ‘muffler’ (scarf) in Raj Bhawan.
When he came back halfway to pick up, the Governor was shocked that this time not even 15 minutes had passed,” the Congress general secretary said in a post in Hindi on X.

Then there was a video doing the rounds showing 72-year-old Kumar as an infant confused between two identical twins. As the ‘infant’ is seen switching sides from one adult to another, a song, “Paltu Chacha”, plays in the background.

Kumar joined the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in August 2022 when he snapped ties with the BJP, accusing it of trying to “split” his Janata Dal (United). He then formed a new government with a multi-party coalition that included the RJD, the Congress and three Left parties.

Several WhatsApp forwards took a swipe at Kumar’s ‘swing politics’.

One photograph of the JD(U) chief was captioned “Paltiputra”, wordplay on the ancient name of Patna, Patliputra. In other messages, he was jokingly referred as “The Former & Future CM of Bihar?” or the “swing” bowler — again taking a dig at his frequent change in ideological stances.

A user on X shared an image of Kumar and a U-turn sign board along with a post reading: “Nitin Gadkari announces removing all the U-turns signs and replacing them with a picture of Nitish Kumar,” it said, referring to the Union Road and Transport minister.

X user Pinku Shukla managed to take a dig at both the political adversaries RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Kumar through his one line post.

“Tejashwi jitni class tak padha hai Nitish ji utni baar shapat le chuke hai (The count of Nitish’s oath ceremony is equal to the classes read by Tejashwi in tital),” posted Shukla.

The 34-year-old RJD leader gave up studies after failing Class 9 at Delhi’s DPS, RK Puram.


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