On October 8, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received the first of the French-made Rafale fighter jets at the Merignac airbase near the city of Bordeaux in France. Following his practice of performing “shastra pooja” (weapon worship) on every Dussehra, Singh performed the ritual this year too. The only novelty was that this year, the “shastra pooja” was performed with the Rafale jets in France.
Shastra pooja – known as Ayudha pooja in South India – in which instruments, tools and weapons are worshipped, is usually performed on Dusshera.
The ritual invited much attention on Twitter, with many people praising Singh for sticking to his beliefs. A few people also called out how the practice was an imposition of Hindu customs, but memesters on social media had a field day sharing their wittiest thoughts about the home minister’s decision to offer coconut and draw the symbol of “Om” on the Rafale jet.
It didn’t take long for someone to dig up a clip of an old speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocking people who mount lemon-chilli amulets in their vehicles to ward off evil.