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.
To take things to next level of genius, Twitter needs a truly random #SayItLikeNirmalaTai generator.
Should be simple
[news headline] because [random fact/group of people/assorted scapegoats]
NRC is success because Parsis are originally from Iran.
— Vidyut (@Vidyut) September 10, 2019
Others used this to address other symptoms of the economic downturn.
The housing crisis:
Housing sector is down because everyone lives online.#SayItLikeNirmalaTai
— Sukhada (@appadappajappa) September 10, 2019
The textile industry:
ઓટો સેક્ટરમાં મંદી માટે OLA અને UBER પણ જવાબદાર: નાણામંત્રી
હા, તો ટેકસટાઈલમાં મંદી માટે કોણ નાગાબાવા જવાબદાર?
It says if OLA and UBER are responsible for slow down in Auto sector
Who is responsible for slow down in Textile industry? Naga Sadhus?
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) September 11, 2019
Fair & Lovely sales are low because life is unfair. #SayItLikeNirmalaTai
— WisePosterior (@faadukela) September 10, 2019
The aviation industry:
Aviation industry is facing slowdown because millennials just saw the Aladdin remake and switched to flying carpets.#SayItLikeNirmalaTai
— Shaantanu Singh ? (@singh_shaantanu) September 10, 2019
Even ice cream:
The millennials have got no chill, so icecream industry is crashing. #BoycottMillennials
— Rofl Gandhi 2.0 (@RoflGandhi_) September 10, 2019
Some took a literal approach to the falling rupee.
Indian Rupees is falling due to Gravity .#SayItLikeNirmalaTai
— Sardarism™ (@Sardarism) September 10, 2019
While politicians also took the opportunity to fire shots.
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) September 10, 2019
Not even underwear was spared.
— Anisha Dutta (@A2D2_) September 11, 2019
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:
Millennials are down because, well… Depression.#SayItLikeNirmalaTai
— meghnad (@Memeghnad) September 10, 2019
Meanwhile, some wondered if the “studies” that Sitharaman said showed millennials prefer cab-hailing services were conducted by “WhatsApp university“.
Nirmala Sitharaman blames young people prefering Uber & Ola for falling automobile sales ?
Our FM seems to be a rank student in WhatsApp University. Crashing economy is everyone else’s fault, not Govt’s?
Next, Nirmala will say unemployment is rising bcos people dont want jobs! pic.twitter.com/WqHEfx0bhy
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) September 10, 2019