It has been a difficult few months for people in India. With COVID-19 cases climbing to record highs and the threat of a third wave looming, netizens are now lashing out at the government. And so, as the Twitter handle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio talk show sought to "celebrate the power of positivity", the reaction was distinctly hostile.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having wreaked havoc across India for over a year now, social media is well on its way to becoming a repository of dark musings, frantic calls for help and invective against the government. Indeed, most well known personalities are no stranger to Twitter criticism and unsolicited advice from strangers. But in the midst of a deadly pandemic, the outraged stories are stark reminders of the situation we face.
For most of us, the brushes with death and suffering have been far too close for comfort, and while some garnered personal insight into the workings of the virus, others had a first hand view of their loved ones' fight against it.
"Inspiring story? Sure. 100s of dead bodies have been dumped in the Ganga and Yamuna. What does PM have to say about it?" queried Congress leader Hasiba Amin.
"Yup, lots of positivity. Thats the problem," jibed journalist Suhasini Haidar.
It is not just the Mann Ki Baat Twitter post. Over the last few weeks, as the COVID-19 situation in India grew increasingly worse, countless individuals have railed against the authorities.
"Hello Rulers: we are in the midst of a pandemic. People are dying. This is not the time for an essay competition or enhancing letter writing skills. No one gives a flipping toss. Do what you are elected to do. If we wanted great letter writers we’d have elected litterateurs," read an irate tweet from Suhel Seth on Tuesday afternoon.
Others took to LinkedIn citing the situation and demanding that the Prime Minister and the Central government "give their money back". Going by the posts, this would include everything from donations made to the PM Cares Fund to income taxes and other transactions.
"Please can we have list of how much PMCARES has spent and when it has bought how many of what exactly," read a tweet from TMC MP Mahua Moitra.