On the weekend, a video of Japanese anime girls swaying in perfect sync to the devotional song Mahishasura Mardini Stotram appeared on Facebook. Over the next three days, the video uploaded by the page Hindu Nationalist Anime Girls was viewed over 27,000 times.

To the fans of the page, this was yet another joyful mash-up of two very distinct worlds – the Japanese art form of anime and the alarming ideology of Hindutva. Since it appeared in January, the page has featured anime girls dressed in cute outfits advertising Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali products, attempting to learn the Gayatri mantra and hanging out with Prime Minister Narendra Modi (who secretly wishes he was home listening to the techno remix of Mahishasura Mardini).

But even as Hindu Nationalist Anime Girls joined a growing list of Indian social media sites that use humour and dark sarcasm to discuss government policies and politics, its creator insisted that “the intention is neither to be edgy, nor is it supposed to be some kind of propaganda”.

To ensure this, the founder has chosen to remain anonymous in order to “keep the content ambiguous from any sort of narrative the followers would like to script”.

This page founder added: “While I do think more Indians need to know about their culture and mythology, this is not a page for that discourse.”

The video of anime girls dancing to Mahishasura Mardini Stotram was taken from the popular anime series iDOLM@STER, which follows the lives of a group of aspiring pop icons. Shows like Pokémon, Dragonball Z, and Naruto served as a point of entry for Indians to the Japanese art form. Many of those wanting to explore the highly-fetishised world of anime and manga comic books beyond these shows have found guidance on social media forums like Reddit and Quora.

The founder fell in love with anime and manga in 2013, but started the page last year, when a conversation about anime with friends led to the incongruous absurdity that would be the image of an anime girl holding a Vedic book.

Similar sites like Humans of Hindutva or Yogi Adityanath Doing Things that use political memes to express dissent are not new. But as The Guardian pointed out in 2016: “What’s novel here is an inversion of control – political memes are no longer rare flashes of uncensored personality or intensely manicured visual messages. They are now born from the swamps of the internet in real time, distributed from the bottom up. They have grown into a form of anarchic folk propaganda...”

While a majority of the memes on the Hindu Nationalist Anime Girls page are taken from shows like, Texhnolyze, The End of Evangelion, Serial Experiments Lain, Monogatari series and iDOLM@STER, the founder said it was neither necessary to know anime or Hinduism to enjoy the content.

“The idea is that if Yogi Adityanath and Hayao Miyazaki [a Japanese film-maker who harbours a disdain towards anime] walk into a bar and see my meme, they should both be able to laugh at it,” the founder said.