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How Priyanka Chopra’s 2019 Met Gala dress triggered a Mamata Banerjee meme and landed Kolkata’s Priyanka in jail

The BJYM leader's arrest by the Howrah police was widely criticised. Thousands of social media users had run a hashtag in her support and had changed their DPs to the same Mamata Banerjee meme that got Priyanka arrested. The Supreme Court had ordered the Bengal govt to release Priyanka on May 14, 2019.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and her husband Nick Jonas were reportedly absent at the 2021 Met Gala event held last night. But the memories of Priyanka Chopra’s 2019 Met Gala dress still exist in countless memes. The dress had bizarre feather detailing along with an equally bizarre curly hairdo topped with a silver-straw crown and loud make-up complete with a bindi.

It was described by social media users with terms such as ‘witch dress’, ‘birds nest’ etc. The Met Gala 2019 dress worn by Priyanka Chopra had ended up triggering a meme uproar in India.

Dress causes meme-fest, makes TMC angry

As bizarre as the dress was, things got even more bizarre when a harmless meme over that dress shared by a Kolkata girl made some politicians very upset. As memes were flowing all over the internet, Kolkata’s Priyanka Sharma, a BJP Yuva Morcha member, had shared a meme that had Mamata Banerjee’s face in place of Priyanka Chopra.

BJYM member was jailed for Mamata meme

The West Bengal Chief Minister expressed her intolerance and disapproval for memes and jokes when amidst all the reactions over Priyanka Chopra’s Met Gala dress and memes, BJP youth activist Priyanka Sharma ended up getting arrested and jailed for her Met Gala themed Mamata Banerjee meme on social media.

The complaint was filed by TMC leader Vibhas Hazra against the BJYM convenor Priyanka Sharma for allegedly posting a morphed picture of Mamata Banerjee in Howrah. The meme that landed Priyanka Sharma in jail had superimposed Mamata’s face on Priyanka Chopra’s body. She was arrested on May 10 and produced in Howrah Court.

The copy of the complaint read that the act “broke the community guidelines” and it was being viewed as an issue of “violence”. “She not just tries to insult our Hon’ble Chief Minister, but she trying to insult the culture of our Bengal by her post on Facebook and which is Cyber Crime”, read the complaint.

The youth activist Sharma was booked under Section 500 of the IPC (defamation), and Sections 66A (offensive messages) and the non-bailable 67A (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

Sharma’s arrest was widely criticised. Though the Leftists and so-called ‘liberals’ kept mum because for them, human rights violations do not matter unless they can be used against the BJP, social media users and BJP leaders called out the arbitrary arrest by the Bengal state government.

Thousands of social media users ran the hashtag #iSupportPriyankaSharma and changed their DP to the same meme of Mamata Banerjee, challenging the WB government to arrest them too.

On May 14, 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the West Bengal government to release Sharma immediately. However, going against the SC order, the Bengal government delayed Sharma’s release and she was reportedly made to sign an apology letter. Speaking to the media, Sharma had stated that she did not do anything wrong therefore she would not apologise.

According to the TMC leaders, sharing memes with the CM’s photoshopped picture was a grave crime and disrespect to the Chief Minister of the state. Apparently, this is also not the first instance when the TMC leader had tried suppressing critics. Earlier, Tina Biswas, an author of a novel critical of WB CM Mamata Banerjee had alleged harassment during her book launch at Kolkata.

The Met Gala or the Costume Institute Gala is the annual fundraising gala thrown for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York and marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. This year’s Met gala 2021 theme was ‘American Independence’. The bizarre outfits are again becoming meme material all over the world.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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