Rajasthan’s tourism industry has taken a beating due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a digital campaign themed around the safa—the traditional turban—by the state Tourism Minister has taken off on Twitter, with even opposition politicians joining in.
The minister, Vishvendra Singh, tweeted on Friday: “The last two days have been rather emotional for me..my #SafaWithTwitter campaign took for well and I am glad we could get everyone to think about Rajasthan before full travels resume; enabling domestic tourism to be locked in for Rajasthan as a state.”
It all started on June 3 when journalist Avinash Kalla posted a photo of himself wearing a safa. Singh shared the photograph the next day, kicking off the social media campaign.
It soon received an overwhelming response in the state. Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot shared a video of him tying the turban in 23 seconds flat, with other minister sharing their own pictures.
The trend cut across party lines with Rajasamand MP Diya Kumari and BJP State president Satish Poonia, among several others, joining the campaign.
Apart from politicians, Rajasthani folk singer Rajnigandha Shekhawat, author Anuradha Goyal, as well as several civil servants, bloggers, journalists, anchors and the public joined in. Governor Kalraj Mishra, too, posted a photo.
The campaign found takers in opposition leaders partly thanks to Singh’s wont to stray from the party line and question the Ashok Gehlot government.
For instance, on June 3, when Rajasthan Tourism’s official handle tweeted: “Rajasthan is all geared to welcome you”, the minister replied: “We are only half ready to welcome guests back. I still have not been given the permission to open hotels. Where will the guests stay? #dilemma.”
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