A jet to protect the country, a lemon to protect the jet #RafalePuja

Social media has been abuzz with all sorts of memes and comments on the ‘puja’ of the Rafale jet done by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Critics call it superstition, apologists cry tradition

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performing the puja of the first Rafale fighter plane at a Dassault facility in Merignac in France on October 8, 2019.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh performing the puja of the first Rafale fighter plane at a Dassault facility in Merignac in France on October 8, 2019.

NH Web Desk

The social media has been on fire with a variety of funny memes and comments over the puja performed by India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a Dassault Aviation facility in France as India got the delivery of the first Rafale fighter jet on October 8, the Vijay Dashmi or Dussehra day.

The irony of the situation was not lost on most of the Indians who termed the puja done by Rajnath Singh, while receiving one of the world’s most technologically advanced fighter jet, as superstition.

A senior Congress leader termed the entire event as a ‘tamasha’, given the Narendra Modi government’s proclivity for the optics rather than focus on substance.

While many questioned as to what was going to protect what – whether the fighter jet would be protecting the lemon and coconut trees of India or the lemons/coconuts grown on those trees will protect the jet, one of the Twitter users wondered whether the nimbus used in the puja by Rajnath Singh were home grown of ‘Made in France’!

Those in the defence raked up pictures of people performing puja of their new vehicles, from two-wheelers to expensive cars, and asserted that it was part of the Indian tradition.

Some of them also showed pictures of Christian priests blessing the firearms and Pakistanis sacrificing a goat on the tarmac to ward off the evil. Nevertheless, it has been fun over the last two days.

We are compiling here a few tweets for our readers to get a flavour of how Rajnath Singh’s puja grabbed all the headlines while his sortie in the Rafale got buried in the noise. By the way, whenever a Defence Minister flies in a fighter jet, it makes for headlines in the newspapers. Not this time, thanks to coconut

Probably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have been the first person to criticise his Defence Minister. Or has he done it in advance? Watch it below:

A few users were worried if the nimbus use din the puja by the Defence Minister were actually home grown, because, they contended, the properties of warding off the evil in European nimbus were not a s strong as they are in Indian lemons.

Some people went beyond the puja-nimbu-cocnut and imagined what would the Rafale fighter jet look like when it finally comes to India (not before May next year at least). This is arguably the best cartoon that beautifully captures the Indian knack for painting vehicles, especially transport vehicles, with all sorts of slogans and ‘mantras’, some for the purpose of warding off evil, others just for fun.

Then someone dug out an advertisement of CEAT tyres, that preaches to rely on technology instead of nimbus and mirchis.

Those in the defence of the Defence Minister were quite firm in their arguments

The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The manufacturers describe it as a fully versatile aircraft which can carry out all combat aviation missions to achieve air superiority and air defence, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.

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