In another case of outrage over ‘hurting sentiments’, a BJP lawyer filed complaint against comedian Vir Das for his ‘two Indias’ monologue. The FIR was filed by BJP advisor Advocate Ashutosh Dubey for “defaming and spoiling the image of India in the USA”. The Mumbai based advocate further claimed that Das willfully “spelled inciting & derogatory statements against India, Indian women & the PM of India”. The FIR was filed after a clip of Das’ recent show I Come from Two India’s was uploaded on YouTube. The show was performed in Washington DC, at the prestigious Kennedy Centre auditorium.
Interestingly enough, Das’s monologue received polarizing reactions from netizens, influencers and politicians. While some claimed that Das was indeed attempting to hurt the cultural sentiments of Indians, others claimed that Das gave a hard-hitting satirical take on the ongoing socio-political landscape of India. The monologue has received over 8.1 lakh views on YouTube so far.
If there has been a phenomenon rampant which questions the idea of free speech in India, it is “purposeful outrage”. Every few weeks, an ad campaign, a film, an artist, or a standup comedian is trolled for “hurting religious and cultural sentiments” of Indians. Who are these Indians, one may ask. These Indians are part of an army on Twitter, armed with anonymity.
So what is ‘purposeful outrage’? It’s when outrage over a piece of work leads to the work being taken down, with the purpose of curbing free speech and fueling the common man with hatred.
In another testament to purposeful outrage, comedian Vir Das is now facing the heat for calling out certain eccentricities of India.
The Facts of the Matter
Comedian Vir Das is facing the heat of thousands of outraged Indians over his recent YouTube clip. The actor shared a clip of his show I Come from Two Indias which he performed at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC. The comedian uploaded an almost 7-minute in which he is calling out the two sides of India that functions in parallel.
The clip has evoked polarizing reactions from the netizens. Meanwhile, 2 FIRs have already been filed against the comedian. One FIR was filed by Advocate Ashutosh Dubey, a BJP legal advisor.
He wilfully spelled inciting & derogatory statements against India, Indian women, & the PM of India. pic.twitter.com/xQuLuGwGZv
— ADV. ASHUTOSH J. DUBEY 🇮🇳 (@AdvAshutoshBJP) November 16, 2021
What Was Vir Das’s “Two Indias” Monologue About?
In the monologue, Das shares how he comes from two India’s – one where women are worshiped, and other where women are gangraped. Similarly, draws simple but astute parallels, one of which was him saying he comes where children are asked to wear masks, while leaders hug without masks. He adds that he comes from a country where “we take pride over being vegetarians, yet run over famers”, an obvious remark about the farmer’s protest and its consequences.
Interestingly, most people who are outraged by the video are sharing just a 40 second edited snippet of the clip. It should be noted that later in the same monologue, Das says that he is in the USA representing a great people. “Great people, who built a great thing that is turning into a memory.”
Netizens Slam Vir Das for His Monologue
After the video went viral, netizens across India are slamming Vir Das. Some are claiming that Das must be arrested for tarnishing India’s image in USA, while others are claiming that Das is misusing his freedom of speech.
I see a terrorist in this man called #Virdas
He is one of those members of a sleeper cell who has waged a war against our country on a foreign land .
Should be immediately arrested under #UAPA and tried under terror laws . @AmitShah @HMOIndia @MumbaiPolice @CPMumbaiPolice pic.twitter.com/RMYQf7a0Ul
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) November 16, 2021
The bigger point which most people missed in Vir Das Anti India rant was it was about shaming Hindu & Hinduism.
It was a dig at 100 Cr Hindus of India.
His passport should be impounded by @MEAIndia for intending to bring bad name to India.
Such foul mouths should be sealed!!
— Sameet Thakkar (@thakkar_sameet) November 16, 2021
You come from an India, @VirDas, where you make a living by insulting your own nation!!
You come from an India, that allows your disgusting, derogative nonsense to pass off as freedom of speech!!
— Priti Gandhi – प्रीति गांधी (@MrsGandhi) November 16, 2021
Who is this “we” that you are talking about?
Your freedom of speech doesn’t mean the slander of the male population of my country.
— Charu Pragya🇮🇳 (@CharuPragya) November 16, 2021
Hansal Mehta, Shashi Tharoor, Kapil Sibal Laud Vir Das
While netizens are slamming Das left and right, prominent netizens including Hansal Mehta, Shashi Tharoor and many others have backed Vir Das for his satirical take on the current Indian socio-political climate.
I was very moved by this @thevirdas. I come from an India where it needs courage for a Vir Das to say this, I come from an India where many of us admire this courage, yet choose to remain silent.
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) November 17, 2021
Gentle reminder that the pursuit of azaadi must also free us from all-season RWA presidents masquerading as politicos. The ‘national image’ argument is irrelevant, when brutal crimes make global headlines and the country has fallen several ranks in ALL indices. So puhleaze. 🥲 pic.twitter.com/g95sjvJLCS
— RichaChadha (@RichaChadha) November 17, 2021
Easy folks – This ain't an apology…Of course you need to know how to read to understand that minor point… What I'm saying is that there are 2 Indias…1 who sits through 6 minutes of a video and the other who rushes through 15 seconds of an edited one of the same https://t.co/LABi7Bh4hM
— Ashwin Mushran 🇮🇳 (@ashwinmushran) November 17, 2021
A stand-up comedian who knows the real meaning of the term "stand up" is not physical but moral — @thevirdas spoke for millions in this 6-minute take on the Two Indias he hails from & stands up for. https://t.co/94h4SnyZhX
"This is a joke, but it's just not funny." Brilliant.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 16, 2021
None can doubt that there are two India’s
Just that we don’t want an Indian to tell the world about it
We are intolerant and hypocritical
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) November 17, 2021
“Do Not Be Fooled By Edited Snippets”
After receiving flak and heat by triggered Indians, Das issued a statement in which he asked people to “not be fooled by edited snippets”. “The video appeals for us to never forget that we are great. To never stop focusing on what makes us great. It ends in a gigantic patriotic round of applause for a country we all love, believe in and are proud of,” his statement read.
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) November 16, 2021