As he marked his one year in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have set out to say that the bad days are gone, in an address on Saturday to the Indian community in Shanghai. His first year in office, he said, had given Indians abroad a new pride in the country.

“Earlier, you felt ashamed of being born Indian, now you feel proud to represent the country. Indians abroad had all hoped for a change in government last year,” Modi was quoted as saying by the Hindu.

But it seemed to have been a self-goal as indignation and outrage simmered on Twitter, with demands for apologies:

What followed instead was news of another variation of the same thought, this time from Seoul, where Modi addressed a grand reception with almost 1500 people in attendance.

Modi said that people used to lament about what sin they had committed in their previous birth that they were born in India. There used to be a point in time when people used to regret being born in India and businessmen wanted to leave the country for better opportunities abroad, he said. But now, he added, those people are saying they are ready to come back even if their incomes are lower than in other places. "The mood has changed," he added, going on to assert that his government had changed sentiments within one year of assuming office.

The response was instantaneous.


More outrage followed on Twitter, with a lot of back and forth between the so called 'adarsh liberals' and the right-wing proponents and humour was only a byproduct waiting to be unleashed. Within a few hours the hashtag #ModiInsultsIndia was trending.