British comedian John Oliver trended on Twitter in India on Monday as reactions swept social media following an episode of his weekly current-affairs programme roasted the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) with lacerating criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the latest episode of his satirical current affairs show 'Last Week Tonight' on HBO, Mr Oliver delivered an 18-minute explainer of the CAA that has been criticised as anti-Muslim and triggered deadly protests across India for the last two months.
"Modi and his party may be about to strip millions of Muslims of citizenship. And they did it in a diabolically clever two step way," the comedian said, explaining the link between the CAA and the planned National Register of Citizens (NRC).
While the NRC, announced by Home Minister Amit Shah in parliament, would require all Indians to prove their citizenship with documents that many poor and illiterate do not possess, the CAA will grant citizenship to most of those left out as long as they are not Muslim, he said.
The episode sent John Oliver trending on Twitter, amassing thousands of tweets, with many urging people to watch and share the clip widely.
Modi: @LastWeekTonight with John Oliver (HBO) https://t.co/3BiOUshPnt via @YouTube— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) February 24, 2020
“India enduring symbol of love deserves more than .. temporary symbol of hate.” Powerful words from multiple Emmy winning @iamjohnoliver Whole world can see how evil CAA-NRC-NPR agenda is except..
John Oliver hits the ball out of the park with this episode on India's Modi and how he and his party are driving their hate campaign against the country's Muslims.https://t.co/aOGcSsZNCe— Mark Amaza (@amasonic) February 24, 2020
STILL a few B&D anchors & actors past their prime who dont understand why people are risking their lives for past 2 months to oppose #CAA_NRC_NPR@iamjohnoliver explains CAA - as if to a 5yr old - and why you cannot separate it from the proposed NRC.https://t.co/RijEtC6sN1pic.twitter.com/5XT27pmu3X— Akash Banerjee (@TheDeshBhakt) February 24, 2020
John Oliver at his very best having a go at Modi in the latest episode of Last Week Tonight ????— Jonathan ????⚕️⚕️ (@just1doctorwala) February 24, 2020
expect this episode to be banned soon
Talks about #NRC_CAA_NPR_Protest#Demonetization#MahatmaGandhi#HinduNationalist#BJP#RSS#Gujarat#YogiAdityanathhttps://t.co/5hZVkr8Mgc
Before the IT cell of a particular political party makes sure this video is taken off the net please watch this video https://t.co/aBH4glyXCA John Oliver you are a star ????— Saqib Saleem (@Saqibsaleem) February 24, 2020
Some also criticised Mr Oliver's take on the issue.
Hey @iamjohnoliver u should consider firing some of your researchers on @LastWeekTonight because they got so many basic facts wrong on that Modi piece. For one it's not the CAB anymore... Its the CAA because the Bill was passed in Parliament with cross party support— InherentlyCurious (@malludoc) February 24, 2020
Clown john oliver is back with another episode of India & Modi hate. Along with usual Trump derangement syndrome. When will these late night show clowns ever understand the more they attack personalities like Modi & Trump,the bigger would be the margin of their next election win?— Ugra (@_ugra_) February 24, 2020
Mr Oliver capped the segment sharply criticising PM Modi and the BJP, which has maintained that the law only hopes to help non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have faced religious persecution in the past.
"The home of this enduring symbol of love," the host said, pointing at a photograph of the Taj Mahal, "frankly deserves a lot more than this temporary symbol of hate," he added, showing a picture of PM Modi.
Mr Oliver's statement comes amid the first official visit to India by US President Donald Trump, during which, American officials have said, he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom and speak to PM Modi about the CAA and NRC.