“I thank @narendramodi for his initiative to honour and empower women this Diwali. Acknowledgement motivates us to work harder and make India proud. #bharatkilaxmi.” From Mary Kom to Pooja Dhanda, from P.V. Sindhu to Saina Nehwal, India’s top sportswomen were assigned to tweet the above text this Diwali eve. The result is multiple sportswomen tweeting identical text from their official twitter handles, lauding PM Narendra Modi’s efforts on women empowerment.
— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) October 26, 2019
Twitter users were treated to identical tweets with the hashtag #BharatkiLaxmi.
Like PV Sindhu, most sportswomen either quote tweeted or tagged Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State (independent charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Much to everybody’s amusement, some of them missed removing the word “Text:” from the message provided to them to tweet. Pooja Dhanda deleted her tweet after many users pointed this out.
The coordinated campaign for #BharatkiLaxmi was kicked-off a few days ago with a video featuring P.V Sindhu and Deepika Padukone. The video was shared by PV Sindhu saying, “I support PM @narendramodi ji #BharatKiLaxmi movement.” This was retweeted PM Modi.
India’s Nari Shakti epitomises talent and tenacity, determination and dedication.
Our ethos has always taught us to strive for women empowerment.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 22, 2019
What followed four days later was a full-fledged campaign with identical tweets from leading sportswomen and tweets on the hashtag by several Union ministers and party supporters.
This #Diwali, let all celebrate womanhood. Societies grow when women are empowered. PM Sh @narendramodi has appealed everyone to celebrate #BharatKiLaxmi for the extraordinary success of the women of India. pic.twitter.com/N4DQ4tjtzb
— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) October 26, 2019
The “news” of leading sportswomen lauding ‘PM Modi’s efforts to empower women’ is now shared by media outlets.
— TOI Sports (@toisports) October 26, 2019
This entire episode of headline management is embarrassing to say the least and to pull in national sportspersons in political propaganda of this nature is condemnable.