'Two Indias' Monologue by Comedian Vir Das Sparks Vicious Criticism, Police Complaints
By: Muskan Sharma
Renowned Indian stand-up comedian Vir Das’s monologue “I come from two Indias” delivered as part of his act at The Kennedy Centre theatre in Washington DC has garnered sharp criticism from right-wing groups, some of whom have even filed police complaints.
In the six-minute video, Das talked about the dichotomy of India and mentioned some of the most significant issues India is facing, ranging from its battle against COVID-19, incidents of rapes, misogyny, communalism, the current Modi regime, crackdown against comedians and the farmers' protests.
He uploaded the video on YouTube last Monday, and it went viral within hours. While a part of the audience heaped praises on the video and stood in support of the comedian, which includes Trinamool member Mahua Moitra, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor, several Bollywood celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Taapsee Pannu, Richa Chadha, Hansal Mehta and others, the other half has slammed him for insulting India.
Apart from the extensive diatribe he has been subjected to, official complaints have been filed against him. As per The Hindu, Delhi BJP vice-president Aditya Jha and Mumbai lawyer Ashutosh J Dubey went to the police with their complaints. While Jha alleged that Das made “derogatory” statements at an international platform to tarnish the country’s image, Dubey held him responsible “for defaming and spoiling the image of India in the USA, which is inflammatory”. \
After being caught in hot water, Das released a statement stating that he intended to remind that the country, despite its issues, was great.
“The video is a satire about the duality of two very separate India's that do different things. Like any nation has light and dark, good and evil within it. None of this is a secret. The video appeals to us to never forget that we are great. To never stop focusing on what makes us great,” his statement read.
Vir Das is, of course, not the only comedian to have been in the eye of a political storm for their “anti-India” comments. Over the past year, comedians like Agrima Joshua, Kunal Kamra, Munawar Faruqui and Tanmay Bhat have also been in the news for making jokes critical of the Union government.
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