When a humorist becomes a preacher instead of becoming a social critic

Back in 90s when Govinda was the prime face of comedy in India, and he was literally hauling the humor scene of India, a new generation of kids was tussling to reinvent other genres of comedy. The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, launched in 2005, entered as a game changer for many unknown faces who were earlier struggling to sell their humor. The show emanated hope and optimism to many suppressed individuals who wanted to voice their opinions, their anger, and their frustration through humor. During this phase, when people with new faces were creating audience to appreciate slapstick and loud humor, Twitter arrived, and with Twitter arrived additional ladders for many of those new generation folks who were bubbling to ooze dark and insult comedy.

This new generation standup comics raised the standard of humor and tolerance in India, they unlocked new channels to convey many serious social concerns with subtility and class, but in the process of carving new paths, many of them started evolving from performers to priests, and then from priests to preachers. Since some of these standup comics, who became the new revolutionary rockstars, started getting compliments for standing against existing institutions, they decided to attack establishments with more and more insult.

It is not that India didn’t have people writing dark satire/comedy in the past. Poets like Dinkar, Parsai, Muktibodh  were publishing sarcasm on the socio-political system in India, long time back in the 70s; books like Raag Darbari, Jeep par Sawar Illian, Bishrampur Ka Sant written to mock the political realities of India. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, released in 1983, is one of the finest dark comedies produced by Bollywood. Nonetheless there is a difference: earlier books/scripts were written with lots of investigations with attacks focused on ideological differences than on personal choices.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Role and involvements of these standups became more complex when apologetic Indian intellectuals and political ideologists who thrive on attacking the Indian cultural values found a symbiosis with these stand up comics. For this new symbiotic system, BJP and RSS were the prime targets for ridicule: statements issued by these parties became targets for criticism. Ancient texts like Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and even literature written in Sanskrit language started getting ridiculed just because BJP/RSS talked about it. Jokes on Hinduism became neoliberal literature, while jokes on other religion became communal tools.

There are two big issues with this evolved system:

– Unlike the satirists of 70s, these standups have gained publicity by mocking everything related to the existing Indian culture, that too without research. Therefore, they motivate people to attack social system, even without knowing what and why to attack

– These standups switch their morality gears according to their convenience. So, while they advocate freedom of speech while delivering sexist, racist, communal jokes, they take a moral stand against right-wing leaders leaving a loose statement. Fundamentally, being a socialist means treating everyone equal, but then they change gears and claim that leaders are different and they should not speak loose statements.

We are funny people.

Poet. Engineer. Story Teller. Social Media Observer.
Started Bhak Sala on facebook

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Statue of all ironies: Pritish Nandy uses example of fake news to spread fake news

Pritish Nandy shared a fake image which was earlier shared by Youth Congress leader
Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram assembly election results

Latest updates and breaking news on counting day: Raman Singh, current Chattisgarh CM trailing

Latest news and updates from 2018 assembly election results of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram.

Fact check: Did BJP President Amit Shah and PM Modi call Baniyas cheaters and accuse them of profiteering?

Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had also been accused of making a casteist remark, which turned out to be a Photoshopped image
Image Source: Zee News

Sidhu knew of the opening before Imran Khan was sworn in, Kartarpur a bigger conspiracy by ISI: Captain Amarinder Singh

Pakistan General Bajwa had revealed the Kartarpur corridor news to Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their PM, Punjab CM Singh indicated “a bigger conspiracy" hatched by the Pak Army.

Vijay Mallya’s extradition judgement rubbishes liberal ‘cabal’ allegations against CBI special director Rakesh Asthana

Vijay Mallya's defence team was using Indian left-liberals' allegations agaist Rakesh Asthana in London court

After stopping BJP’s rath yatra, West Bengal government allows Hindu-hater Bangladeshi Maulana to address meetings in the state

BJP's rath yatra banned, Bangladeshi Islamic preacher welcomed in West Bengal
Vijay Mallya to be extradited

Big victory for India: UK court orders Vijay Mallya’s extradition who is wanted in India for a Rs. 9000 crore scam

The liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, is wanted in India in connection with an alleged scam worth Rs. 9000 crores and is to be extradited to India.

When ‘anti-corruption crusader’ met the ‘Raja’ of 2G spectrum scam

Kejriwal, who till now has been religiously snubbed by Congress and its allies, is expected to participate in the meeting for the first time.

‘Journalists’ and politicians spread lies about RBI Deputy Governor’s resigning following Urjit Patel’s exit

"Journalists" started rumour-mongering about the resignation of RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya soon after Governor Urjit Patel resigned citing personal reasons

Jignesh Shah’s firm rented property owned by Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka: Here is all you need to know about NSEL scam

The NSEL suspended the trading of all contracts on the 31st of July, 2013. Eventually, 24 trading entities defaulted on their payment to the spot exchange, which amounted to around Rs. 5600 crores.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,512FansLike
97,348FollowersFollow
6,059SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these