#SayItLikeNirmalaTai: Minister Blaming Auto Slowdown on Millennials Prompts Witty Replies

The finance minister had claimed that a reason for the auto industry slowdown could be millennials preferring Ola and Uber over buying a car.

New Delhi: Millennials may not be popular with other demographic cohorts but Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman took the age war a bit too far when she blamed the plunge in automobile car sales on that hapless generation. So millennials did what they do best: they took to Twitter to respond, with wit and irreverence.

The passenger vehicle industry, which has been in a tailspin for months, reached its worst-ever monthly sales performance in August, plunging 31.6% to 196,524 units from a year earlier according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

“[A] whole lot of factors are influencing [the] automobile sector. We are trying to solve the problem for them,” she said, adding, “Some studies do tell us that [the] mindset of millennials, who are now preferring not to commit an EMI (equated monthly instalment) for buying an automobile, instead prefer to take Ola, Uber, everything else, or take the metro.”

Millennials have been blamed for economic downturns in America as well, with the decline in home-ownership once being attributed to eating avocado toast, but this might be the first time an Indian minister has done so.

Across Twitter, hashtags like #BoycottMillenialls and #SayItLikeNirmalaTai sprung up, with over 22 thousand tweets at the time of writing.

Some took a systematic approach to absurdity, with instructions.

Others used this to address other symptoms of the economic downturn.

The housing crisis:

The textile industry:


The aviation industry:

Even ice cream:

Some took a literal approach to the falling rupee.

While politicians also took the opportunity to fire shots.

Not even underwear was spared.

The amusing hashtags serve to emphasise that millennials, along with the rest of the country currently have a wide variety of economic slowdown symptoms to choose from, with one Twitter user hitting the nail on the head:

Meanwhile, some wondered if the “studies” that Sitharaman said showed millennials prefer cab-hailing services were conducted by “WhatsApp university“.