To err is human. But under the gaze of the ever-watchful, unforgiving Twitterati, this human trait comes at a heavy cost. Many of our celebrities and politicians have invited the wrath of Twitter by firing less-thought out tweets with ignorance plastered all over. And in other cases, autocorrect plays the villain, or so they say.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley recently courted controversy when he tweeted a tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 'death anniversary'. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was quick to react and fired a tweet condemning Jaitley's tweet.
Bose is believed by many to have lived even though reports claim that the leader had died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945. Serious objection was raised to Jaitley's tweet for terming August 18 as Netaji's 'death anniversary'. It is a date that has never been officially recognised by the Government of India or by Netaji's home state Bengal. Jaitley's tweet was later deleted.
While some goof-ups can be conveniently forgotten, there are some that deserved no mercy and others that had Twitter in splits.
1. Anushka Sharma: As the nation mourned the death of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Indians took to social media to pay their respects. So did Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma, only to be trolled. It was disaster after disaster, with Sharma getting the Missile Man's name wrong twice. In her first tweet, she said,"Very sad to hear about the passing of ABJ Kalam Azad. Loss of an inspiring visionary and a wonderful soul. May his soul RIP." Anushka got lambasted on Twitter instantaneously.
She promptly deleted the tweet, and sent another one out. She corrected the initials, but failed to spot the glaring error in his name.
"Very sad to hear about the passing of APJ Kalam Azad. Loss of an inspiring visionary and a wonderful soul. May his soul RIP.
So much for a typo. Did she confuse the former president with legendary freedom fighter Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad?
2. Vijay Goel: Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel seems to be participating in an Olympic of sorts—of messing up on Twitter. He has been trolled left, right and centre for his recent tweets in connection with the Olympic Games. He tweeted his best wishes to athlete Srabani Nanda, only that he attached a photo of Dutee Chand along with the message. An Twitterati had a field day. But the unkindest typo of all was when he goofed up gymnast Dipa Karmakar's name wrong. And to think he is the sports minister. Twitterati left no stone unturned to make their thoughts known to Goel.
Oh, now I understand why many Indians landed at 4th spot in Rio. Typo champion Vijay Goel wished all of them - may the fourth be with you.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) August 14, 2016
All India Bakchod's Tanmay Bhat went a step ahead to rip apart Goel. In what seemed like an interesting play of permutation and combination, Bhat simply gave a few ideas on how Goel could possibly goof up P.V. Sindhu's name while congratulating her.
3. Hrithik Roshan: Just a few days after actor Hrithik Roshan was trolled mercilessly for tweeting about 'the dress'—blue and black or white and gold—he was in for major trouble. Roshan took to Twitter to condemn a militant ambush in Manipur which killed jawans. Wrong choice of words, and a little less knowledge, however, backfired.
The actor realised his folly and corrected by tweeting: 'Correction- unidentified Manipur tribal militant groups .. To be more precise.' But the damage had been done.
4. West Bengal Congress: Sometimes it helps to do some history research. The Congress West Bengal unit shot itself in the foot on Twitter on August 20 when it posted one of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's most controversial quotes as a tribute to him on his 72nd birth anniversary. They tweeted: 'When a big tree falls, the ground shakes.' The tweet was taken down within minutes of being published, but in the age of screenshots, there is no escaping.
The former prime minister's words came soon after riots broke out against Sikhs in Delhi in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi’s comment was interpreted as his approval for the events that transpired after Indira Gandhi's death and had been widely criticised.
5. Press Information Bureau: This could very well be the king of Twitter goof-ups in India in the recent past. Sadness at the devastation due to massive flooding in Chennai gave way to outrage and mockery when the Press Information Bureau (PIB) tweeted an embarrassingly photoshopped image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi making an aerial survey of the flood-hit city and adjoining areas.
The PIB had initially tweeted a photo of the PM surveying the hazy exterior. They later seem to have decided to give Indians a better view of the submerged areas, by superimposing a clearer porthole view.