- Vir Das’ recent YouTube act, ‘I Come From Two Indias,’ has landed the comedian in controversy.
- Later, he released a statement explaining that his remarks were not meant to insult the country.
- Two complaints were filed in Delhi and Mumbai for allegedly making derogatory remarks against women & India during a performance.
Stand-up comedian Vir Das, who recently faced a massive criticism for his viral “Two Indias” monologue at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, says satire is his job, and he will continue to write “love letters to my country” as long as he is able to do comedy.
Vir Das, who has been nominated for an international Emmy for his Netflix show “Vir Das: For India,” says in his first interview since the major controversy over the video he released on YouTube last week that any Indian with a sense of humour realises it was satire.
What would he have done differently? The stand-up comic, 42, is extremely clear about what he intended to portray with his monologue.
In an interview with a leading news agency in New York, he stated, “I believe that laughter is a celebration, and that when laughter and applause fill a room, it is a moment of pride. I believe that any Indian with a sense of humour, an understanding of satire, or watches my entire video understands what happened in that room.”
“As an artist, you will receive all kinds of feedback. But millions of people have shown their support for my show.”
Vir Das describes two contrasting sides of the country and references to many controversial subjects – from the Delhi gang-rape to farmer protests to pollution – in a six-minute clip from the Kennedy Center performance that has been widely shared and has polarised social media.
“I come from an India that has the world’s largest working population under 30 but still listens to 75-year-old politicians with 150-year-old ideas,” he says in the monologue to huge applause.
While many on Twitter lauded his statements and shared the video or sections of it, Vir Das was also severely mocked for quotes like “I come from an India where we worship women during the day and gang-rape them at night.” A BJP leader has filed a police report accusing him of slandering India on foreign soil.
Was he anticipating this kind of reaction when he wrote it?
He said, “A comedian creates satire, and if it’s about the good of the country and the bad of the country ending in the good of the country… I think that’s something you should be interested in – I can’t predict what will happen when I post a piece of content… It’s all jokes. It’s not in my control.”
The comic stated that the experience will have no effect on the gags he creates.
“For the past ten years, I’ve made my country laugh. I’ve dedicated my life to writing about my country. We’re in Los Angeles for the Emmys because I penned a love letter to my country. As long as I am able to do my comedy, I want to keep writing love letters to my country.” On the way forward, he stated: “I honestly don’t know. Write jokes and hope to hell that people watch them all, the whole thing in its actual context.”