In a run-up to Independence Day celebrations, Kolkata-based YouTuber Arifuddin Molla, who runs the YouTube channel The Funky Express, conducted a social experiment of sorts, to gauge the sentiment of people from his city towards the Pakistani aam admi.
Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and a taqiyah cap, Molla stood for eight hours at Dhakuria Lake in south Kolkata, a crowded part of the city. In his hands was a placard with the words, “I am from Pakistan. Please hug me / slap me.”
Several people passed by, giving Molla curious glances, while some came forward and hugged him. Some asked Molla what he was up to and he explained, keeping up the pretence that he was from Pakistan.
Interestingly, a majority of the people who hugged Molla seemed to be young people – college students or professionals in their 20s. At the end of eight hours, Molla hadn’t received even a single slap.
“As you see in the video, we Indians are a generous people,” says Molla concludes in his vlog. “No matter which country people are from, they are, at the end of the day, common people. Just like that, the common man of India has shown a common man from Pakistan a lot of love.”