Aju Varghese, a Malayalam comedian, appears like an angel in that picture shared widely over social networks. Across the picture is just a name, making it all the more funny for the Malayali – Shafi Parambil. The meme was on the victory of Shafi Parambil, a Congress politician, that ensured that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won no seats at all in the Kerala Assembly. It was such a close fight between Shafi and his BJP opponent, boiling down to the last round of counting. And finally, the much celebrated Metroman E Sreedharan lost, Shafi really did appear like an angel for a number of Malayalis on counting day.
The Aju Varghese picture was one of the many memes shared across social media as part of the Kerala Assembly election results. International Chalu Union (ICU), Troll Malayalam and other meme makers have been busy all day, bringing some light moments to tense voters watching the results. While a number of memes took jibes at BJP leaders such as K Surendran, who lost from both the seats he contested in, there were also those that mocked Congress and Left leaders. One meme had Left supporters saying “No problem at all, we are only happy” about Congressman Shafi’s victory. Another shows Shafi taking the Spiderman’s place in Spiderman-2, just managing to hold an out-of-control train back from falling into a pit.
A good number of memes were on Surendran’s double candidacy and loss. From taking digs on his helicopter trips for campaigning between the two constituencies of Konni and Manjeshwar, there are jokes about him turning out to be the future governor of Mizoram – the fate of two former BJP state presidents. A widely spread one has a scene where a man has legs stretched between two buses running in parallel and about to meet a tree in the middle of the road!
Another is a conversation between a Manjeshwaram resident and a Konni resident saying we both escaped.
This meme shows the reaction of the pilot of Surendran’s helicopter.
Memes also got made around Krishnakumar, actor-politician who contested for the BJP from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency. One meme conjures a funny series title he would star in.
Another one plays with the word ‘kammi’ – meaning ‘little’ and a wordplay on the informal term of Commie used to describe a Communist – the memes have shown no mercy.
The word ‘Unda’ which also means zero has appeared in many memes to depict the BJP’s fate in Kerala.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi got pulled into one where a Sangh supporter says communalism will not work in Kerala.
Sreedharan, entering politics at the age of 89 and showing extreme confidence of his victory ahead of the election, was also not spared. Pictures floated around of his MLA office being put on sale on OLX. Sreedharan, who had frequently announced his candidature gave a better image to the BJP in Kerala, had also taken an office on the full faith that he would win. Another meme has him saying, “Big changes will come to BJP with my entry,” to which Surendran replies, “Yeah, we lost the one seat we had!”
There are also jokes themed on Lord Ayyappa, on the right wing party using faith and religion to bank on votes. One has a scene from the famous Mohanlal starrer Lucifer. Baiju's character plays Ayyappa in the meme, telling off Surendran - "Surendra, who will believe I am a god if someone as crooked as you wins?"
Another has a group of young men wearing the tilak, suggesting they are Sangh supporters. One of the men says, “This is the curse of Ayyappa.” Another asks, “For whom?” and the reply comes, “For us.”
Suresh Gopi, a film star and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament of the BJP, lost Thrissur constituency two years after losing the Lok Sabha election from the same place. A short video of his from a film is aptly doing the rounds – it has him and another actor Cochin Haneefa get out of a car chanting “Swamiye Ayyappa” and sheepishly saying “it didn’t work,” when nobody takes notice.
Congress politicians were also not spared. The funny scene from Manichithrathazhu where Innocent and Ganesh Kumar rush out of a house they think is haunted has been photoshopped to show Congress leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala. The caption reads, “So we will come back after four and a half years.”
Another one on May 3 shows Ramesh Chennithala happy at the news that Pinarayi Vijayan resigned. (The resignation is a routine one before the assembly is dissolved and a new cabinet is sworn in).
Even an advertisement of a washing powder is used to show how Kerala voted out the BJP – with Shafi wearing blue and Sivankutty, the LDF leader who won Nemom, wearing red. “It is blue in Palakkad and red in Nemom,” says the caption and in the middle is a woman titled ‘Malayali’.
And of course, PC George, a politician infamous for his vile language, who lost his seat in Poonjar has been trolled.
The coronavirus too has been used in the memes. A picture has actor Ashokan as a voter who voted for the BJP. When he is asked why, he says, “So I won’t catch corona, that was the only button no one else touched!”