Comedian Vir Das’ blistering ‘two Indias’ critique blasted as ‘defamation,’ ‘soft terrorism’

Comedian Vir Das’ blistering ‘two Indias’ critique blasted as ‘defamation,’ ‘soft terrorism’Comedian Vir Das’ blistering ‘two Indias’ critique blasted as ‘defamation,’ ‘soft terrorism’
Indian comedian Vir Das has recently come under fire from right-wing groups in India for using his standup routine to discuss controversial topics, including sexual violence and the farmers’ protests in the country.
What he said: During a performance in Washington D.C., Das spoke of “Two Indias” while highlighting the hypocrisy and corruption in how the country has dealt with sexual violence, farmers’ rights, COVID-19 safety, age disparities in politics, and more.
  • “I come from an India where we worship women during the day, but gang rape them at night,” he said evenly to a silent audience. “I come from an India where we take pride in being vegetarian and yet run over the farmers who grow our vegetables.”
  • Vir Das is one of India’s best-known comedians and is known for heavily featuring social commentary in his material.
  • Das’ past Netflix standups have also tackled topics like nationalism, religion, racism and dirty politics, but what is new about this set is the seriousness with which it was delivered.
  • “I come from an India that is going to watch this and say, ‘This isn’t standup comedy. Where is the goddamn joke?’”
  • Das’ remarks come in light of increasing crackdowns on free speech, particularly of minorities in India, under Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Comedy under fire: Prominent conservative Hindu politicians, actors, filmmakers and religious leaders alike have come forward to criticize Das, going as far as calling for his immediate arrest for “defaming” the country.
  • A lawyer with the Bharatiya Janata Party, Prime Minister Modi’s party, filed a defamation complaint against Das.
  • The Indian police force confirmed that they have received several complaints. No action has been taken on their part as of yet.
  • A-list Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut went as far as calling Das a “criminal” and his standup “soft terrorism” in an Instagram story.
  • Das responded to the uproar on his Twitter, insisting, “I take pride in my country, and I carry that pride across the world.” The response did not backtrack on any of his bold comments and simply reaffirmed his patriotism.
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Featured Image via Vir Das COMEDY
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