Comedian Faces Legal Action After Criticizing India

Comedian Faces Legal Action After Criticizing India

( – When comedians write up material to pitch to the crowd, they never know which ones will get the most laughs and which ones will flop. In America, these artists can generally make fun of themselves, their state, country, and culture with fear of legal consequences, but not every country is like the US.

Indian-born comedian Vir Das took the stage in Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center in November and performed a satirical monologue poking fun at his homeland. Unfortunately, the set didn’t go over well in India because now he’s facing multiple lawsuits against him for “defaming” and “spoiling” the country’s image.

Das’ set, “I Come From Two Indias,” pointed out the good and the bad of the country, touching on the sensitive subjects of rape and homicide. When the six-minute comedy piece ended and the laughter died down, a debate kicked up in India. Several politicians from the Hindu nationalist party filed lawsuits against Das.

In addition, the vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Aditya Jha, said he wanted the comedian arrested for “malign[ing]” the nation. Still, there’s no word on whether any charges are pending.

Das spoke out about the controversy, indicating he has no way of knowing how people will take his content. He said what he tells are jokes, and how others perceive his comedy is out of his hands, but he hopes people watch the full set and don’t take his words out of context. Meanwhile, while he waits for the lawsuits to play out, he’ll continue to write “love letters” to his country.

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