On Thursday, 12 college students were detained for selling ‘Modi pakodas’ near the venue of Prime Minister’s rally in Chandigarh. The students, wearing graduation robes, were selling pakodas named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their degrees Engineer, BA, and LLB. All 12 students were released after the rally concluded.
The BJP functionaries chose to remain mum over the incident.
Pakoda selling is also a crime now. Police arrests “jobless graduates” .
Wah Modiji Wah !pic.twitter.com/lmEfg0sfiU
— Gaurav Gupta (@GauravGupta1110) May 15, 2019
This comes in stark contrast to the BJP’s reaction to the arrest of BJP Yuva Morcha leader Priyanka Sharma for sharing a meme on Mamata Banerjee. Sharma’s arrest was widely criticized by the BJP top brass.
“I ask you to paint a ‘bhaddi se bhaddi’ picture of myself and gift it to me. I will preserve it for life. I am telling you I will not file any FIR against you for that,” PM Modi said in an election rally in Bashirhat Lok Sabha constituency against Mamata government’s action.
Protest Against Unemployment
The students gathered at the venue to sell pakodas as a symbol of protest against widespread unemployment across the country. According to the leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data released earlier this year, the unemployment rate in India touched a 45 year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.
“We are here to welcome Modi ji for giving us new employment under pakoda yojana. We want to sell pakodas at Modi’s rally so that he knows how great it is to sell pakodas for the educated youth,” a woman protester said to India Today.
Earlier, in an Interview to Zee News, Modi had said that a person earning Rs 200 per day from selling pakodas is counted as employed. “If someone opens a ‘pakoda’ shop in front of your office, does that not count as employment? The person’s daily earning of Rs 200 will never come into any books or accounts. The truth is massive people are being employed,” he said.
Taking a jibe at Modi, Lawyer and Activist Prashan Bhusan tweeted, “Graduates trying to sell ‘Modi pakodas’ arrested ahead of Modi’s rally in Chandigarh! So if you follow Modi’s advise, you are arrested?! Maybe now he feels that putting people in Jail is a better way of providing them employment!”
Graduates trying to sell 'Modi pakodas' arrested ahead of Modi's rally in Chandigarh! So if you follow Modi's advise, you are arrested?! Maybe now he feels that putting people in Jail is a better way of providing them employment! https://t.co/uU5Q7lO1Ct
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) May 15, 2019