The intense debate on Vir Das’ video I come from two Indias on November 17 reflected the polarity of the monologue itself, with celebs, politicians, and a variety of others expressing themselves. Police complaints were filed against stand-up comedian Vir Das in Mumbai and Delhi.
Moving away from the rhetoric, Delhi BJP vice-president Aditya Jha and Mumbai lawyer Ashutosh J. Dubey filed complaints with the police. While Mr. Jha said that Mr. Das made “derogatory” statements on a global stage in order to smear the country’s image, Mr. Dubey accused him of “for defaming & spoiling the image of India in the USA, which is inflammatory” So far, no FIRs have been filed.
Support for the Comedian
The comedian has received support from Trinamool Congress member Mahua Moitra, as well as Congress officials Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor, who have issued a statement claiming that his remarks were not meant to be insulting to the country. However, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a fellow politician, slammed him for “vilifying the nation,” and actress Kangana Ranaut weighed in to demand that the comedian be punished severely.
Mr. Tharoor complimented Mr. Das as a stand-up comedian who understands that the true meaning of “stand up” is moral rather than physical. Mr. Tharoor tweeted late on November 16 that Mr. Das spoke for millions in his six-minute opinion on the “Two Indias” he hails from and defends.
“We know which India this comes from,” Mr. Tharoor added, tagging a tweet by a person who said he had made a complaint against Mr. Das with the Mumbai Police.
Ms. Moitra, a member of the Trinamool Congress, backed the comic as well, thanking him for expressing the truth about ‘Two Indias.’ “Reactions also from 2 Indias – one having a laugh & other filing complaints with police!” she tweeted.
Vir Das’ Monologue
Mr. Das, who is currently in the United States, posted a six-minute video to YouTube on November 15 titled I come from two Indias. It’s from his latest performance at the John F. Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C.
The Mumbai-based comedian, who has also experimented in filmmaking, touched on a variety of issues in the video, including farm protests, the fight against COVID-19, the duality of responses to women, including rape, and the crackdown against comedians.
As the debate heated up, Mr. Sibal tweeted on November 17 that none can doubt that there are two Indias. “…Just that we don’t want an Indian to tell the world about it. We are intolerant and hypocritical,” he tweeted.
Vir Das’ Stand on this
The 42-year-old turned to Twitter to send a message, explaining that his objective was to remind people that the country was “great” despite its problems.
The statement read, “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. 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. That there is more to our country than the headlines, a deep beauty. That’s the point of the video and the reason for the applause”.
Das said that people support the country out of optimism, not “hate,” and warned his followers not to be deceived by altered clips.