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The Left Can’t Meme: Congress party’s cringe worthy tweets on Valentines Day appear desperate rather than funny

The Congress' Valentines Day tweets only confirm what has long been known in the online community: The Left can't meme.

The General Elections are fast approaching and the Great Meme War has officially commenced in the country. On Valentines Day, the Congress party tweeted a series of images mocking top BJP leaders.

Unfortunately for the Congress party, the jokes are neither funny nor smart enough and come across as rather obnoxious. Especially its joke on Union Minister Smriti Irani that was rather crass.

The Congress’ Valentines Day tweets only confirm what has long been known in the online community: The Left can’t meme. The tweets, instead of tickling one’s funny bones, come across as a desperate attempt to appear ‘hip’ and sway the online youth.

The worse part is the ‘jokes’ or the rather desperate attempt at it make no sense at all. For instance, the one featuring Nirmala Sitharaman reads “The Silencer: You say it best, when you say nothing at all!”, featuring a cartoon of the Defence minister with tapes on her mouth, when the fact is that Sitharaman has been a vocal minister, and has been demolishing Congress lies.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsCould you imagine any girl wanting to date you after you said something that cringe-worthy? If Rahul Gandhi has been using those lines on women, it’s no wonder that he is still unmarried.

Contrast this with memes from the online community that leans towards saffron. They are much more ‘in touch’ with public sensibilities and are much more ‘natural’ when it comes to humour.

The conduct of the Congress party on social media also shows a gradual shift of the top echelons of the party towards the far-left. The people who run their social media accounts also appear to be thoroughly westernised in their sensibilities and their sense of humour do not quite capture the imaginations of the vast Indian population. Their audience appears limited to certain sections of the millennial urban youth who have more in common with the Western millennial crowd than they do with their own fellow Indians.

It’s no wonder that the vast majority of the Indian online meme community leans towards saffron politics. In an earlier article, we have elaborated on how Hindutva has become a very prominent subculture on the internet.

There’s a more fundamental reason why the Left can’t meme. In the entire Western world and in India as well, Leftism is the ideology of the establishment. And humour has traditionallly been anti-establishment. Humour has always been a tool at the hands of the less powerful to take potshots at establishment ideas. In time, the establishment has co-opted even the mainstream comedy scene.

The ‘Meme culture’, as we understand it today, developed as a revolt against political correctness and other liberal ideas. Thus, the fact that the Congress party is absolutely terrible at memes is not their fault. The ideology of the party and the people it is associated with as a consequence makes it impossible for them to be very good with memes. It’s not something they understand or even capable of appreciating.

‘Meme culture’ is furtive, chaotic, extremely creative, innovative, willing to cross the line and often, they do cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed. But regardless, the main purpose of it is to upset the status quo. Now, if you represent the status quo, can you really appreciate and emulate it? The best you can do is come up with a cheap imitation of it which will only embarrass you further.

The Congress party’s election campaign thus far appears to be faring even worse than their social media strategy. While the fate of the Mahagathbandhan is still unclear and the Congress party is being snubbed by several regional parties, the BJP has been sending its top leaders all across the country already. Under such circumstances, they should perhaps focus more on their strategy in the real world than the virtual one where they are only embarrassing themselves further.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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