Vir Das has earned plaudits for his latest monologue video titled ‘Two Indias’ highlighting the intrinsic hypocrisy involving the country’s politicians. Speaking at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Das highlighted how he came from India where people worshipped women in the day but gangraped in the night.
He said, “I come from an India where we worship women during the day and gang rape them at night.”
Referring to the latest attack by Hindu radicals against the only Muslim cricketer in the national team, Mohammad Shami, Das said, “I come from an India where we bleed blue every time we play green.”
He went on, “But every time we lose to green, we turn orange all of a sudden.” Orange is associated with India’s Hindu militants, who had accused Shami of accepting money from Pakistan to lose the match in the just-concluded T20 World Cup.
He concluded by stating that he came ‘from an India that will watch this and know there is a gigantic joke. It just isn’t funny.’
While the stand-up comic earned plaudits from many, the usual suspects targeted him demanding criminal action against the artist.
Pro-BJP Kangana Ranaut, who recently humiliated India’s freedom fighters, wrote on Instagram, ““When you generalise all Indian men as gang rapists it gives rise and encouragement to racism and bullying against Indians all over the world… After Bengal famine Churchill famously said, ‘These Indians breed like rabbits they are bound to die like this…’ He blamed Indians’ sex drive/fertility for the death of millions because of hunger… Such creative work targeting an entire race is soft terrorism… Strict actions must be taken against such criminals @virdas.”
Reacting to the video, filmmaker Hansal Mehta tweeted, ” “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.”
Actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt tweeted, “You said it Hansal.I was not amused as much as I was moved-more by the audience that cheered with their heart for the India that chooses love over hate & shows great dignity & decency in the face of suffering & despair. One that can unashamedly cry for itself yet laugh at itself.”
Faced with public backlash, Das issued a statement defending his monologue. He wrote, “The video is a satire about the duality of two very separate Indias, that do different things…Like any nation has light and dark, good and evil within it. None of this is a secret.”
India has seen a phenomenal rise in religious intolerance after Narendra Modi became the country’s prime minister in 2014. Several creative artists have either been jailed or hounded with raids from government agencies for speaking up against the BJP government.