After making “Go Corona Go” a pop culture phenomenon, Ramdas Athawale’s latest plan to thwart India’s enemies was an instant online hit, drawing jokes as well as criticism.
The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on Thursday called for a ban on Chinese products, including Chinese food, and establishments that serve Chinese dishes in India. This was in response to the deadliest face-off between Indian and Chinese forces at the Line of Actual Control in four decades that left 20 Indian soldiers dead on the night of June 15.
Following Athawale’s tweet, Twitter users were instantly reminded of his coronavirus-themed chant in March.
The border clashes led to rising anti-China sentiment across parts of India. Several people called for the ban of Chinese products, businesses with Chinese investments, and apps like TikTok. The Confederation of Indian Traders released a list of 500 Chinese products that ought to be banned, while a video of Surat citizens smashing a purportedly China-made television went viral.
But Athawale’s tweet put the focus on food. And Twitter wasn’t happy.
Some pointed out how intricately Chinese cuisine is part of Indian culture, with tens of thousands of Indians making a living in from Chinese dishes.
Another listed all sorts of items that Indians use on an everyday basis without ever considering their Chinese origins.
One user kept it real and simple.
Someone had some amusing trivia to share.
That’s not quite far from what’s happening as The Telegraph reported that traders in Siliguri decided to stop trading in Chinese goods and change the name of the nearly 50-year-old Hong Kong Market.
Some users brought up the quite natural concern of vandals ganging up on Indians making a living off Chinese products or products of Chinese origin. Others wondered if Athawale’s tweet could lead to xenophobic attacks on Indians from the North East.
Earlier, reports of racist discrimination towards North Easterners emerged across India, in connection to the reportedly Chinese origins of the novel coronavirus.
And here’s one who summed it up neatly.