‘I shouldn’t be on the news,’ says Vir Das amidst protests over alleged ‘anti-India’ remarks
The stand-up comedian has put up a video in which he asks his audience if his show "defamed India". The two-minute-long video is from Vir Das's recent comic show which was held in Kolkata, West Bengal.
Comedian Vir Das has been in the midst of controversies for a show that he did in the United States of America, last year. His show – ‘I come from two Indias’, has not gone down well with some Hindu outfits which led to protests against Das and the cancellation of his shows, including his most recent one in Bengaluru.
While his Bengaluru show got cancelled, Vir Das did perform in West Bengal around the same time. Sharing a video from the very show in Kolkata, she put up a fairly long post, saying that he is an artist and that he “shouldn’t be on the news”.
In the two-minutes video that Vir Das shared on his Instagram, the comedian has taken a jibe over the cancellation of his show(s) saying that “a lot of time when comedy shows get.. you know.. shut down.. people make assumptions about what happens at the show but nobody checks with the audience what happened at the show”. He then goes on to ask a few questions to the audience, further asking them to respond in a yes or a no in unison.
Among the many hilarious questions that he first throws at the audience, Vir Das goes on to ask some important ones. “Did we target any specific religion here tonight? Did we target any government or a leader here tonight? Did this show defame India or make you feel ashamed of being an Indian?” The crowed shouted their answers loud and clear in unison saying “no” to all except for the one question – “Did this show make you proud of being an Indian?” The video then ends with a message – “Trust the audience”.
“I made this video after one of my shows…Just in Case. I have no interest in media spectacles or being used for headlines. I’m an artist. I shouldn’t be on the news. Many assumptions are made about my content. I trust my art and my audience to speak for me. #TrustTheAudience #SpreadTheLove I humbly ask that you watch it till the end and share if if you enjoy it,” Vir Das wrote in the post.
Meanwhile, one Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has warned Vir Das to continue its protest against him unless he apologises for his 'anti-India' remarks. Ramesh Shinde, national spokesperson of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti reportedly said that wherever Vir Das's program will be held, his organisation will continue to oppose those programs. Das sparked a controversy last year for his monologue, 'I come from two India', which was presented in the US. The comedian was criticised for allegedly defaming the country.
Furthermore, Ramesh Shinde said that Vir Das should apologize for his statement against India in the US. He reportedly said that if his organisation does not oppose Das’s monologue, it would mean that they are supporting what he said. However, the matter would be over if the comedian apologised, Shinde reportedly said, adding that HJS did not cancel Das's show in Bengaluru.
The organisation had lodged a formal police complaint against the comedian at a police station in Bengaluru. According to Ramesh Shinde, the police told them that the show cannot be cancelled. He further said that this is why they decided to protest peacefully by carrying placards outside the venue.
On Friday, November 11, 2022, at 5.30 pm, a show of Vir Das was to be organised in Bengaluru. However, it was cancelled at the last minute. Das himself had shared the information regarding the show’s cancellation on his Instagram handle.