Yesterday, comedian Rohan Joshi, most known for being part of the now-defunct comedy company All India Bakchod (AIB), took to Instagram in order to mock “Bhakts” i.e. supporters of PM Modi, for losing their family members to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a highly distasteful Instagram post, Joshi mocks the supporters of the nation’s Prime Minister for losing their loved ones to the pandemic and also manages to vilify the construction of the sacred Ram Mandir, hurting Hindu sentiments in general. It is of note that Joshi lives in Maharashtra, which is in a COVID-19 crisis right now under the Uddhav Thackeray government. Rohan Joshi is supposedly a comedian speaking “truth to power” through chastising Modi supporters and Hindus whose family members died from the Coronavirus pandemic.
As crass as the “joke” was, it could still be dismissed as “edgy humour” in a most charitable interpretation by those who secretly harbour such feelings in all seriousness. However, the next post from Joshi completely exposes the ideology which fuels Joshi’s “comedy” and his self-proclaimed “fury and contempt” towards regular Indians. In his Instagram post which is supposed to be an explanation for his offending post earlier, Joshi makes it perfectly clear that he holds regular Modi-supporting Hindus “directly responsible” for the death and loss from the Chinese coronavirus.
“I have nothing but contempt for them and not a shred of sympathy. Fuck the high road”, writes Joshi, making it crystal clear in this angry rant that his earlier “joke” did not come from his funny bone, but rather a place of anger and deep resentment/contempt towards PM Modi and his supporters.
Rohan Joshi, whose past venture AIB was shut down in May 2019 after being rocked with multiple sexual assault allegations, has described himself as an atheist.
“My parents always encouraged me to ask questions and read things and be scientifically minded,” Joshi said. “As a result, I came to a position of atheism naturally. The existence of God on a scientific basis just seemed impossible to me.”
In the 2010s, with the advent of social media, various comedy groups and comedians have come to the limelight. Part of this trend was AIB, which quickly rose in prominence due to their YouTube channel going viral. However, this quick rise to fame was cut short with credible sexual assault allegations lobbed at the two senior members of AIB, Tanmay Bhatt, and Gursimran Khamba, resulting in AIB shutting down.
It is important to note the “Us vs Them” mentality of Joshi’s explanatory Instagram post, which gives us an insight into Joshi’s ideology. Joshi explicitly states that he blames “Bhakts” for the Chinese coronavirus and its various consequences, whom he holds “directly responsible”. It would be one thing if Joshi’s goal was to critique the policies of PM Modi through comedy, however, that is not the case here. What Joshi is trying to do is to lay the blame for Coronavirus and all of its negative consequences at the feet of pious Hindus who wish to worship at the sacred Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir.
What compels someone like Rohan Joshi to just straight-up attack “Bhakts”? Certainly not for comedic value, with Joshi literally writing, “Fuck Bhakts. They are directly responsible for this”, without any hint of irony or joke. Joshi is an atheist, so it’s not religion motivating him. All of this seems to stem from a very corrosive strain of the Liberal/Leftist ideology, which confuses punching down at Modi-supporting “Bhakts”, who themselves are suffering because of the pandemic, as is the rest of the world, with somehow speaking truth to power.
Joshi defiantly declares that he has “nothing but contempt” and “not a shred of empathy” for “Bhakts” i.e. Indians just like you and me who chose to vote for a leader they think can deliver, and frankly, has delivered. However, we are still supposed to pretend that these Bombay liberal elite types of people are somehow our moral superiors. In many ways, Joshi’s Instagram post was illuminating, as it shined a light on the very real class and religious contempt that urban liberal elites in India frequently exhibit towards lower social classes, ironically in the name of tolerance and liberalism.
The term “Bhakt” itself, which the liberal elites now uniformly use as a slur for conservative Indians, refers to a pious Hindu who is an unquestioning follower of God. This entire Liberal worldview, which seeks to demonize Hindu religiosity and then blame the people demonized for a worldwide pandemic, comes across as virulently anti-Hindu.
This worldview seems to stem from the complete rejection of a Hindu identity in favor of a Leftist one. For Leftists, their leftist ideology defines their core and moral values, not religion. Leftists tend to incorporate unquestionable dogmas as time passes on, which are sanctioned by the Leftist High Priests i.e. the woke activists. They are puritans, unable to feel empathy for the deplorable “Bhakts”, even if the “Bhakts” lose their loved ones to the Chinese pandemic because that goes against the tenets of the modern Left.
Rohan Joshi gives us accurate insight into the mind of a typical liberal elite, who is atheist, has no qualms “joking” about the dead family members of “Bhakts”, but will give you some sort of weird and morally grandstanding justification as to why we should hold the “Bhakts” in contempt without “any shred of empathy”. The average liberal elite is deracinated, irreligious, and cannot be functionally called an Indian in any sense except for the “Place of birth” section in their birth certificates.
Interestingly, what Rohan Joshi has said is also the perfect example of what comes of the lofty ideals that the ‘liberals’ believe they espouse. While the self-proclaimed fascists who claim to be liberals talk about the tenets of democracy, they would crush the very people who dare to exercise their agency in a manner they don’t approve of. Essentially, they like the tenet of democracy till the result goes their way and the moment it does not, they prefer that those who exercised their agency rather be dead. It comes as no surprise that they would rather see Hindus dead, because, in their view, it is Hindus who elected PM Modi to power, discarding the power that persecuted Hindus with their policies.
There is a famous picture that several “bhakts” use to define what the “liberals” are really after. It is a picture of Prime Minister Modi and the caption reads ‘They are not after me, they are after you, I am just in the way”. Many dismiss it as overt hero-worshipping, however, when ‘liberals’ go after Hindus just because they seem to hate the man they voted for, one is forced to wonder if it actually PM Modi who they despise, or Hindus, because they cannot believe that for the first time, they are standing their ground and refusing to take hate lying down.