Why is National Unemployment Day trending on PM Modi’s birthday: All you need to know

September 17 marks PM Modi’s birthday as he turns 70 today. A majority of people on Twitter have lauded PM Narendra Modi’s efforts in curbing COVID-19 across the country, handling the India-China situation among other things. On the other hand, netizens on Twitter have marked September 17 as National Unemployment Day and the trend has gone viral.

At the time of publishing, the hashtag #राष्ट्रीय_बेरोजगारी_दिवस (or national unemployment day) had over 1.68 million tweets

Week-long celebrations in the name of ‘Seva Saptah’ were launched by BJP from Sept 14-20 in view of PM Narendra Modi’s birthday. PM Modi has turned 70 today, i.e. September 17. A majority of people on Twitter have lauded PM Narendra Modi’s efforts in curbing COVID-19 across the country, handling the India-China situation among other things. Recently, WHO had also praised PM Modi’s timely and tough decisions in view of coronavirus and had said that India is in a better position than other advanced nations. But, on the other hand,  a certain segment of netizens on Twitter have marked September 17 as National Unemployment Day and the trend has gone viral.

But how is Rashtriya Berojgar Diwas related to PM Modi’s birthday?

The hashtag Rashtriya Berojgar Diwas or National Unemployment Day marks as a protest against the high unemployment rates in the country and to highlight the government’s failure to create jobs and provide employment.

As per the National Statistical Office (NSO) report, India’s April-June quarter GDP contracted by 23.9%, the first contraction in more than 40 years. The number of unemployed people are likely to grow not just because people are failing to find jobs, but also because several already employed are likely to lose their jobs, because of the economy and lockdowns imposed due to COVID-19.

India’s youth have been demanding reforms in SSC and other recruitment processes. Throughout the week, the youth tried to communicate their issues and problems on Twitter.

This week was also celebrated as a Rashtriya Berojgar Saptah and it concludes today, i.e. September 17.

Check out their reactions:

At the time of publishing, there were more than 1.5 million tweets drawing the Centre’s attention to the country’s unemployment and economic crises.On PM Modi's Birthday, 'National Unemployment Day' Trends on Social Media

A hoarding put up by a BJP leader on Ashoka Road, New Delhi, to mark Narendra Modi’s birthday. Photo: The Wire

Several individuals and political parties simultaneously launched a social media campaign and the day was soon called “National Unemployment Day” on social media. Hashtags like ‘#17Sept17Hrs17Minutes’, ‘#राष्ट्रीयबेरोजगारदिवस’ and ‘#NationalUnemploymentDay’ have been trending on Twitter since morning. These hashtags are part of a protest campaign against the government’s failure to provide employment.

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The unemployment rate in India has been steadily decelerating and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people losing jobs in the past quarter. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), since the lockdown was imposed in March, there have been significant job losses across the country, with the overall unemployment rate hitting over 23% in the last week of March 2020. There has been a recovery in recent months, but the unemployment remains higher than the pre-lockdown levels.

The organisation’s recent estimate has shown that the employment situation worsened from the beginning of March 2020, before the lockdown was put in place, and then rapidly spiked in the last week of the month and the first week of April 2020. The downward trend has since continued. The National Statistical Office (NSO) report has also indicated that India’s April-June quarter GDP contracted by 23.9%, the first contraction in more than 40 years.

The angst could be sensed in the memes and messaged that began to pour on Twitter since early September 17.


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too joined in and hit out at the Centre over the growing rate of unemployment in India amid the economic crisis. “Massive unemployment has pushed the youth of this country to call today #NationalUnemploymentDay. Employment is dignity. For how long will the Govt deny it?” Gandhi tweeted.

In his tweet, Gandhi tagged a Hindi news report on how over 1 crore Indians are seeking jobs while only 1.77 lakh jobs are currently available across states.

But Modi supporters across India continued to celebrate his birthday with much fanfare.

In some places, the celebration took a bizarre turn with party members comparing Modi to the Hindu mythological figures. In Maharashtra, BJP spokesperson Avadhut Wagh compared Modi to Hindu God Vishnu’s 11th incarnation. “Hon PM @narendramodi Ji is the 11th #Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu (sic),” state BJP Wagh tweeted.

Such comparisons are not new. In the past too, party leaders have compared Modi with Vishnu’s mythological incarnation called Kalki Avatar. Three years ago, the party’s Manipur leader Laishram Jatra Singh had released a book titled Kalki Avatar and Narendra Modi.

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