Does the Congress Have What it Takes to Match Modi’s “PUBG-wala” Quip?


Does the Congress Have What it Takes to Match Modi’s “PUBG-wala” Quip?

Illustration: Arati Gujar


rime Minister Narendra Modi held the second edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha — his town hall on education — on Tuesday, and there’s no denying that it was a roaring success. Sure, it was less of a town hall and more of a lecture, but it’s our speech-loving PM we are talking about here. Attendees who had to complete an online application for the opportunity to interact with the PM were, predictably, sidelined in favour of audience members chosen from a pre-approved list. Questions were carefully curated from a diverse group, including Indians studying abroad, as were Modi’s responses. But with the general elections only a few months away, his address to the gathered parents and students was a campaign masterstroke — and it’s all thanks to PUBG.

News headlines and social media have been abuzz with PM Modi’s reference to PlayersUnknown Battleground, the most popular smartphone game in India. When a mother at Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0 mentioned her son’s constant gaming habit, Modi joked, “PUBG-wala hai kya?” The audience laughed at this super-relatable response, and Modi followed up by encouraging parents to let students explore technology. It was a clever, if pre-planned segue, and the 68-year-old leader has since been lauded for his grasp on youth culture. The PM’s quip was enough to keep the internet engaged with funny memes flooding our timelines.