Amit Shah extends Vaman Jayanti wishes, Malayalis say #PoMoneShaji

Amit Shah BJP chief Amit Shah

Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Tuesday took the controversy surrounding the Onam legend to a new level after he extended “Vamanajayanti” wishes on Facebook on the eve of the popular Malayali festival.

Shah's post came days after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh published an article in its local mouthpiece saying that the Onam festival was an occasion to celebrate the birthday of Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The article had questioned the legend behind Onam and said the popular myth was an attempt to malign the characters of Hindu text.

Onam is widely known as the celebration of a welfare kingdom ruled by Mahabali, an Asura king, who was tricked and pushed to the netherworld of Pathala by Vamana. According to myths, Onam is the day when the king returns to his land to meet his subjects.

Earlier, Hindu Aikya Vedi state president Sasikala had termed Vamana a freedom fighter, who liberated Kerala from Mahabali.

Amit Shah's Facebook post has sparked off an outrage and drawn much criticism and troll on social media with a hashtag #PoMoneShaji (roughly translated as “get lost you Shah ji”) trending on both Twitter and Facebook. Po Mone Dinesha, a famous dialogue of the protagonist played by Mohanlal in one of his movies, has become a new idiom for Malayalis to jokingly express how silly the person who they are talking to is.

A similar hashtag #PoMoneModi trended on social media a few months back when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a statement comparing the state with Somalia.

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