Three weeks after he accepted a fitness challenge by India Cricket Captain Virat Kohli, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday belatedly lived up to his promise and uploaded a video of his morning exercise routine.
The fitness challenge was the brainchild of Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who on May 22 had initiated a social media campaign to encourage Indians to exercise more. Rathore tagged a few celebrities, including Kohli, to take up his challenge, upload a video as proof, and pay it forward by nominating others for the task.
Modi, on his part, nominated Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, and Table Tennis champion Manika Batra. While Batra accepted the challenge, Kumaraswamy, turned it down, indicating that he is too busy governing his state.
This exchange, and the glimpses of Modi’s fitness regime, which includes him walking on an array of surfaces and stretching on a rock, proved ripe for humour on social media. Users took apart the video, highlighted its best bits, and – but of course – drew comparisons between his various poses and the state of India today.
Some decided to follow in Modi’s footsteps.
Janata Dal (Secular) leader Kumaraswamy, who came to power in Karnataka last month with the help of a rushed post-poll alliance with the Congress after a hung verdict, was also not spared. The Congress had struck an unusual deal with Janata Dal to keep the BJP, the single largest party in the elections, out of power. Though the Janata Dal had just 37 seats to Congress’ 78, it agreed to make Kumaraswamy the chief minister.
A parody account of the chief minister also raked up the water-sharing row between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the Cauvery River.