Comedian Vir Das has said that he will continue to do his job, which is to make people laugh, even as his monologue I come from two Indias delivered in the United States sparked a controversy in his home country, reported NDTV on Monday.
“I think laughter is a celebration and when laughter and applause fill up a room...that’s a moment of pride,” Das said during an interview with the news channel. “I think that any Indian who has a sense of humour, or understands satire, or watches my entire video, knows that that’s what happened in that room.”
In the 6.53-minute video clip, performed at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the comedian had described his version of “two Indias” that exists in his home country.
“I come from an India where we laugh so loudly that you can hear us through the walls, and yet...I come from an India where we break down the walls of a comedy club because you can hear laughter inside,” he says during the performance, delivered on November 13.
Watch the performance here:
Days after Das’ performance was uploaded on his YouTube page and subsequently went viral, a police complaint was lodged against the comedian in Delhi, reported the Hindustan Times.
The complaint was filed by the spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit Aditya Jha for allegedly “insulting the country”. However, a First Information Report has not been filed so far.
Another complaint was also filed in Mumbai last week by Ashutosh Dubey, a lawyer affiliated with the BJP. Dubey alleged that Das’ performance was “venomous and inflammatory”.
During his interview with NDTV, when Das was asked if he was expecting the kind of reaction that his performance had triggered, the comedian said: “I can’t expect what happens when I put out a piece of content... It’s jokes. It’s not in my hands. A comedian puts out satire and if it’s the good of the country and the bad of the country ending in the good of the country... I think that’s something that you should want to come together in.”
He noted that he had made people in India laugh during his entire career spanning 10 years. He also highlighted that he had been nominated in the comedy category for the International Emmy awards 2021 for his Netflix comedy special Vir Das: For India.
Das said that he was at the Emmys because he “wrote a love letter to my country”, adding that as long as he is able to perform, he wants to keep writing these love letters to India.
In another interview with India Today, the comedian was asked about the inspiration behind the performance, to which he said that he did not hope to start a conversation, but just wanted to make people laugh.