In the past couple of days, a hashtag - #TeamBaan - has appeared frequently on Twitter. It is also mentioned in the bio of some users, most prominently among them are AAP activist Ankit Lal and anonymous parody account ROFL Gandhi.
On Friday, Bollywood actress Richa Chadha posed the question “What is #TeamBaan?” on the microblogging site. Here’s what the hashtag stands for.
To put in simple words, ‘Team Baan’ is the Indian counterpart of K-pop stans who can turn the social media tide within seconds.
Some of the prominent examples include buying tickets at US President Donald Trump’s campaign rally and not attending it; crashing Dallas Police Department's app which asked people to send in videos of Black Lives Matter protesters indulging in illegal activities, like looting stores and demolishing public properties.
‘Team Baan’ doesn’t operate at this magnitude but it has marked a significant appearance on social media with its anti-BJP stance. However, there is no proof of its allegiance with any political party.
ROFL Gandhi's loyal followers call themselves Team Baan. It all started when news channels started putting up Twitter polls with questions like 'do you support Prime Minister Modi' on a particular issue.
ROFL Gandhi would simply direct his followers there, sort of advising them how to vote.
Why is it called Team Baan? The origin is in the meme: "iss ke pet mein baan maariye, Prabhu (Hit an arrow in his belly, Lord)". This is from Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan that was re-telecast during the early days of lockdown.
The meme became quite popular and ROFL Gandhi's loyal followers decided to call themselves Team Baan. Before raiding a poll, they would ask, "iss ke pet mein baan maariye, Prabhu."
Hence, the poll became Raavan and the team hunts together to kill the poll.
Another example is the 'Mann Ki Baat' video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on YouTube which accrued lakhs of dislikes.
Later, other videos of Modi saw a similar campaign with even some TV channels facing the wrath of angry users.
The comment section of the videos was filled with remarks critical of the BJP and Modi. The admins of the YouTube channels later disabled comments on the video.
It was assumed that 'Team Baan' was partially responsible for the same.
Besides that, ROFL Gandhi also launched an "auction" for a caricature mocking BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, which was reportedly sold for Rs 1.01 lakh.
“The credit goes to the wonderful artist, who is also chairman of #teambaan 's Cultural Wing. He created an art worth lac rupees from a 2 rupees object,” wrote the account on Twitter.