A new trend called Stand-up comedians have begun. I would like to place a couple of humor before you. Stand-up comedian Abhijit Ganguly mocking at the new initiatives by Modi, “One fine day Modi came, and said Get Aadhaar, We got it done. Link it to Bank account he said. We did it. Then he said, Open new bank account. We did it. He claimed to introduce Taxation system. What is happening here? You work, why are you asking us to work? They say Modiji doesn’t sleep. Please sleep, who told you not to?” Now what is so funny in this? Is it a great piece of humor or comedy? It says a lot about them, their stand and their personality if this is sold as humor.
There is yet another guy, Vipul Goel. He starts his talk saying that he is a Modi admirer. Actually, he is not. Read what he says about Modi – One day Modi lands up, asks – if the country has to be clean or not? We all say yes. Immediately he imposes a Swachh Bharat cess of 0.5%. Then he asks, should our farmers be taken care or not? We say yes and immediately he imposes 0.5% Krishi Kalyan Cess. If Modi comes again and asks us about Make in India etc., we should tell him not to fool us or Chutiya (a hindi slang). On the whole, their intention is just this. People should laugh and discretely push the agenda amongst our youth.
These are our the country’s new intellectual class. They can indulge in humour on any subject making it political and in a vulgar manner. They can pursue their agenda under the guise of humor.
Delving back into the background history of Drama, Cinema, Actor would reveal the reasons for their behaviour. In the earlier days, Drama was the only source of entertainment. Even before Independence, with the patronage of Communist Party in Andhra Pradesh there was a theatre group started called Prajanatya Mandali, in collaboration with Indian Theater Association. They used to travel to various places to propagate their philosophy, popularize Communist Party and enact various drama to influence the people and draw them into their fold. Along with Jana Natya Mandali, Arunodaya and other Left leaning troupes, they were even successful in attracting people into their fold. Even to this day, we can find vestiges of this tactic in Communist party propaganda – influencing and attracting people through Street plays and theatre.
Post this phase, it was cinema that was used for politics. Many movies inspired by politics were made. The craze was to such an extent that even actors started talking about politics. Not only they campaigned for some political parties, some even launched themselves into Politics. There came a phase when people stopped liking those actors who entered politics. Hence actors who were active in cinema or those who were already famous began critiquing Government of the day. They began dishing free advice to the Government and people. People were misled into believing that these people were intellectuals and experts. What people did not realize is that these people were remote controlled toys who just parroted what Politicians dictated to them. From youth to the old, all began to heed their propaganda.
As Social Websites and Media became popular, the true nature of these actors were exposed and people began to realize it. Agree or not, in the earlier days when Amir Khan says something about India, it used to become a big issue. Forget people opposing it, a small counter could not be found. It is not the same today. If Amir Khan says something, within hours the agenda, purpose and reason why he talks would be thrown on his face with evidence. Best example is how Prakash Rai used to be treated earlier when he spoke about Government and Modi and the respect he gets today when he speaks.
People no longer trust these Actors or those in Theater and Cinema anymore. Politicians have to find other avenues to push their agenda. And that is through these stand-up comedies. No elderly folks come to stand-up comedy shows. The entire investment is on sub 35 year olds. If the agenda is pushed through these comedians stays deeper in the minds of the people & far more effective than the words of Theater or Cinema actors.
Slapping a person going on the street and then when he is angry show them the camera and say it is a comedy show makes them forget their anger & the slap. and they begin grinning at the camera – that is how coolly humour is taken in India. You must have witnessed these in the Prank shows. Disguised as comedy, these comedians subtly push their political agenda. If someone objects, they say slip away saying it was just a joke else it is successful planting of the agenda in people’s minds. Thus they became the new generation of Intellectuals in the country.
Those out of job Stand-Up comedians are now gradually becoming sought after. They demand upto Rs 25000 for a half hour show and from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 Lakh for an run of the mill Stand-up comedian. Though they appear to be spontaneous the fact is that they script, rehearse and then go onto the stage to present it.
They would go out of circulation if they just speak about Politics. Many of them were successful presenting normal humor before they started presenting the politics oriented comedy, cracking jokes on anatomy of males and females. Jokes about Sex, condoms, breasts etc which were considered taboo to be spoken in public in India, suddenly appealed to the youth when they became subject of these comedies. Let us note that until this phase Politics had not entered their script. The moment they found that jokes about parts below the waist made them acceptable, they began going political in their comedies. It has now reached such a proportion where politicians support these programs wholeheartedly.
Kunal Kamra in one of the shows says, “I was in front of an ATM when Demonetisation was announced, One of them in the queue said, “Kya Ghatiya Desh hai ye”(what a wretched country is this). I went to him right away and said, come on. We both belong to same thought process. Let us start bitching about the country together” This video is available on YouTube even now.
What is this that this person conveying through his humor? If the same thing were to be said in a Cinema, it would have been big news. If it were in Theatre, it would have got banned. Since he said this in a humorous tone, there are no restrictions. However, the message reached the youth. You just need to visit YouTube and view some interviews of Kunal Kamra to know the kind of person he is. It is all about spewing venom on Modi with Shehla Rashid, Umar Khalid, Jignesh Mevani and such members of the Tukde Tukde gang.
The Stand-up comedy industry is growing in India exactly on the same lines as it grew in the west. Russel Peters is one such renowned Stand-up comedian across the world. Tickets for his show are priced at Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. What does he speak about? The size of breast, length of penis is what he speaks at least for 15 minutes. And there are many who completely are into political satiring and comedy like Bill Maher, Sarah Silverman, Alexei Sayle, Jeremy Hardy. Probably this is the reason why their popularity is dwindling. Those who have saved their repute without commenting on Politics are a few like Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey and so on.
Why go so far? Take the example of Karnataka’s Richard Louis. Earlier he used to crack decent jokes. Gradually he turned to Husband-Wife and about romance. Though he is not seen much on chat programs these days, his Facebook posts are only shares of Anti-Modi and Anti-RSS contents. Of late, he only shares post about Christian freedom fighter as listed in the publication – Christian Freedom Fighters of India. Isn’t this perversion? Do any fighter think of himself as a Christian when dying? Isn’t this cheap thinking on his part to look for religion/caste identity of freedom fighters? He keeps sharing posts of only Congress and JD(S). Did people recognize and admire him for his humor or for his love of Congress and JD(S)?
There are many like him in Kannada industry. They haven’t gone about bandying their Political leanings.
By the time people realize the political agenda of Standup comedians, it may have caused enough damage. But it is not too late. It is in our hands to promote good and clean humour denouncing those with Politics, Religion, Caste and Vulgar colors. Let us not fall into the pit dug by these Neo-intellectuals.