PM Modi’s ‘noob’ remark in election season stirs political row

While Modi did not mention any name, the reference triggered a political slugfest with Congress leader Pramod Tiwari slamming the prime minister over the remark

New Delhi: “If I say it (noob), you will assume it for a particular person,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, April 13, during an interaction with gamers who explained to him certain terminologies related to the gaming industry such as ‘noob’ and ‘grind.’

As the prime minister’s remark set off a meme fest on social media, leaders of the ruling BJP seized the opportunity to taunt the opposition, triggering a political slugfest.

In a free-wheeling interaction with the prime minister about the future and challenges before the e-gaming industry, top Indian online gamers discussed with the prime minister certain terminologies used in the industry such as “noob” and “grind”.

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As they explained that “noob” is a reference to someone who is a newbie or not very skilled at a game, Modi chuckled and said, “If I use this word during elections, people will wonder who am I referring to. If I say it, you will assume it for a particular person.”

While Modi did not mention any name, the reference triggered a political slugfest with Congress leader Pramod Tiwari slamming the prime minister over the remark.

“I don’t know who he is talking about but he is talking about an opposition member. Talking about someone who is educated at top universities… These are just political tactics of the BJP around the elections. This will backfire,” the Congress leader told reporters.

BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla took a swipe at the Congress, saying the reaction of the opposition party’s leader to Prime Minister Modi’s remark confirms who is the “noob” in politics.

“PM Narendra Modi did not name anybody but why are Congress leaders reacting and confirming ‘ki Rajniti ka Noob kaun hai’ (who is the noob in politics),” he said on X.

Bollywood actor and BJP candidate from Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi Kangana Ranaut posted a clip of PM Modi’s interaction with the gamers and asked, “Who is this Noob?”

BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh said the entire country knows who the biggest “noob” is in the opposition.

“There are many princes and princesses in the (INDIA) alliance who do not know anything about the ground realities, have no idea about the problems of the country, and do not even know anything about the country. These leaders, who studied in five-star culture and seven-star schools and colleges, have landed in helicopters.

“There are many noobs in the alliance but you must know who the biggest noob is. The country also knows who the biggest noob is,” he told reporters.

The prime minister’s comment also triggered a meme fest on social media with several users asking “Who is the Noob?”

Gamers Tirth Mehta, Animesh Agarwal, Anshu Bisht, Naman Mathur, Mithilesh Patankar, Ganesh Gangadhar, and Payal Dhare had a half-an-hour-long interactive session with PM Modi.

They discussed new developments in the gaming industry with the prime minister, who stressed how the government has recognised the creativity of gamers, promoting the gaming industry in India. They also spoke about issues concerning gambling versus gaming while discussing women’s participation in the gaming industry.

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