Bollywood actor-comedian Vir Das found himself in hot waters last week after irking many with his latest stint in the US, titled 2 Indias. The artists received backlash over the monologue of his performance where many shared reservations over Das’ ‘inaccurate’ image of the country.
The reaction called for the comedian’s arrest, which ultimately propelled him to issue a statement where he apologised for hurting the sentiments of his fellow countrymen.
Now, in another interview with NDTV, Das shared how people misinterpreted his video.
“I think laughter is a celebration. When laughter and applause fill up a room, that’s a moment of pride. Any Indian who has a sense of humour, understands satire or watches my entire video, knows that’s what happened in that room,” the comedian said, regarding the controversial video. “I can’t expect what happens when I put out a piece of content — it’s jokes, it’s not in my hands,” Das stated. “I think a comedian puts out satire, it has the good of the country and the bad of the country, ending in the good of country…that’s something you should want to come together in,” he said.
“I have made my country laugh for 10 years now. I have devoted my life to writing about my country. We are here at the Emmys because I wrote 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,” Das said. Responding to Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra refusing to let him perform in the state hereon, Das said, “I will have to cross those bridges when we come to them, humbly.”
In advice to young comedians out there, Das quipped, “Write jokes and hope to hell that people watch all of them, the full thing, in its actual context.” When asked if he had faced any censorship or asked to tone down a joke, Das said, “No, they are jokes! People love jokes. People love to laugh.”
Earlier, he wrote on Twitter, “Like any nation has light and dark, good and evil within it. None of this is a secret.” He further added, “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 then shared, “Please do not be fooled by edited snippets. People cheer for India with hope, not hate. People clap for India with respect, not malice. You cannot sell tickets, earn applause, or represent great people with negativity, only with pride. I take pride in my country, and I carry that pride across the world.” He concluded, “To me, a room full of people anywhere in the world, giving India an ovation is pure love. I ask of you, the same thing I asked of that audience…to focus on the light, remember our greatness, and spread the love.”
In the aforementioned video, Das had spoken about the prevalent rape culture in the country. “I come from an India where we worship women during the day and gang-rape them during the night/I come from an India where journalism is supposedly dead because men in fancy studios, in fancy suits, give each other handjobs and yet women on road with laptops are telling the truth,” he said. Das was adding his voice to growing criticism about politically compromised media and rising crimes against women in a country where they are also worshipped as various forms of Hindu goddesses.
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