In a strange new Twitter trend, netizens appear to be blaming the Government of Pakistan for a wide variety of reasons - from waking up late to dealing with a rodent infestation. And as seems to be the trend for many news topics over the last couple of days, this too eventually links back to Republic TV and its Editor in Chief.
In recent months Republic TV has found itself mired in controversy as it stands accused of manipulating television ratings in its favour. As part of their supplementary chargesheet, the Mumbai Police had gathered hundreds of pages worth of chat messages exchanged between journalist Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta. And needless to say, they have since gone viral.
As the controversy gained momentum, many began to pull out excerpts from the leaked chats, lambasting the journalist and calling for answers from the Central government. Goswami's messages from three days before the Pulwama clash appear to indicate prior knowledge of government actions - a fact that has been brought up repeatedly over the last two days.
The topic even made it across the border to Pakistan, with the Foreign Ministry of the neighbouring country deciding that this was the perfect opportunity to keep up their "consistent position that RSS-BJP Govt". Alleging that the Indian government states "false flag operations" the MoFA Twitter handle called it a vindication of their claims.
Quite naturally, Republic TV felt compelled to respond, releasing a statement criticising the Government of Pakistan and the Congress. "RepublicVsPakistan" read the rather dramatic hashtag at the beginning of the Twitter post. While many were baffled at the abrupt inclusion of the Congress party in the last line of the statement, this was not the focus of the jokes that followed. Soon, the government of Pakistan was being blamed for a wide variety of reasons, each more bizarre than the last.
And thus a new Twitter trend was born.
"Woke up late for work...I blame the government of Pakistan and other anti-national elements," tweeted actor Richa Chadha.
"The government of Pakistan just sent a rat to my house. The rat destroyed my plants and chewed my furniture. The congress and govt of pakistan do not want me to have any furniture. In the next few days I will unearth this conspiracy to destroy my furniture. Jai Home," said Hansal Mehta. Incidentally this is not his only tweet in this format. A quick perusal of his Twitter handle shows five posts in succession.
They are not alone.
Several others have followed suit with the same format, overs as others reacted with surprise at the turn of events.
Take a look: