Comic Vir Das's viral "I come from two Indias" monologue at Washington's Kennedy Centre, furiously debated on social media, has provoked a police complaint in Delhi by a BJP leader. Aditya Jha, a spokesperson of the Delhi BJP, has filed a complaint accusing Vir Das of vilifying the nation on foreign soil.
Mr Jha tweeted a video statement that he "will not tolerate anyone insulting our nation in another country" and will fight for the arrest of Vir Das. "I will take this fight to a decisive end. I want Vir Das to be arrested so that no one can malign the nation like this," Mr Jha says.
Vir Das on Monday posted a video filmed at his show at the iconic Kennedy Centre. In the six-minute clip, he describes two contrasting faces of the country and refers to many controversial topics - from the farmer protests to pollution - in broad strokes.
"I come from an India that has the largest working population under 30 on the planet but still listens to 75-year-old leaders with 150-year-old ideas," he says in his piece peppered with applause.
While many shared their favourite lines on Twitter, Vir Das was also trolled in equal measure.
"This is a joke, but it's just not funny."— yuvika (virat's version) (@KatyalYuvika) November 17, 2021
Great stand-up comedy by Vir Das. My man literally destroyed all the Sanghis in just under 6 minutes ????????
Here's a thread of my most favourite parts of it...(1/3)#TwoIndiaspic.twitter.com/eOjvZgzN4I
A short clip posted on Twitter generated much fire: “I come from an India where we worship women during the day and gang-rape them during the night."
The 42-year-old stand-up comic last evening put out a clarification that he never intended to insult the nation, that his piece was a satire.
"The video is a satire about the duality of two very separate Indias that do different things. Like any nation has light and dark, good and evil within it. None of this is a secret. The video appeals for us to never forget that we are great. To never stop focusing on what makes us great. It ends in a gigantic patriotic round of applause for a country we all love, believe in, and are proud of. That there is more to our country than the headlines, a deep beauty. That''s the point of the video and the reason for the applause," Vir Das said in his statement.
He urged people to “cheer for the country with hope, not hate" and asked his followers to not be misled by edited clips. "Please do not be fooled by edited snippets. People cheer for India with hope, not hate. People clap for India with respect, not malice. I take pride in my country, and I carry that pride across the world,” he said.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal was among those who came out in his support on Twitter.
Vir Das- Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) November 17, 2021
None can doubt that there are two India's
Just that we don't want an Indian to tell the world about it
We are intolerant and hypocritical
“Vir Das, none can doubt that there are two Indias. Just that we don't want an Indian to tell the world about it. We are intolerant and hypocritical,” Mr Sibal wrote.