While Prime Minister Narendra Modi wooed the Indian diaspora in China and South Korea, his remarks about how Indians were once ashamed of their country, and they longed for the greener pastures of foreign lands, sparked fury over social media.
#ModiInsultsIndia became a global trending topic and was the second worldwide trend on Twitter for much of Tuesday.
Modi, who left for China on Thursday, spent his second day in South Korea on Tuesday after visiting Mongolia over the weekend.
"There was a time when people said what sin did we do in our previous life that we were born in India, what kind of country is this, what kind of government is this, what kind of people are these, let’s leave it and go away somewhere else," he said in Seoul on Monday. He had made similar remarks in Shanghai on Saturday.
This was a rare social media misfire for Modi, who revels in his role as a social media giant, preferring to talk directly to those on Twitter and Facebook through updates and selfies, rather than through traditional media.
Modi has come in for criticism in the past as well for criticising past governments, political rivals as well as the media while on official visits overseas.