A few days back, I was reading an interesting book on political satire called Unreal Elections – which digs into the Indian political satire amidst the clamour of heated debates. Surprisingly, as I delved deeper into this new genre of writings, I figured out that the internet is full of such political sarcasms. Thanks to technology, a barrage of political spoofs on the internet and TV ensures that every Indian politician is cut down to size.
For a country where everyone takes politics very seriously and in the rural areas where many aspire to be a politician, it is surprising to find Indians laughing their way to the elections. Thanks to the new age satirists, a generous dose of political humour doing rounds in every nook and corner of the tech world using rhetorical campaigns.
The genre is not something new in India – it was always there in diverse forms of cartoons in newspapers, it’s just the appetite has increased.
No doubt, humour should be integrated in politics. For example, there seems to be a lot more humour in the presidential elections of the USA than you’ll find in India. Indians have a tendency of taking things seriously. Sarcastic comments by Narendra Modi often receive a very blistering response from political opponents for using the term "Shahzada" for Rahul Gandhi frequently. I find it quite funny and of course, a brilliant tactic. But instead of taking it sportingly, opposition leaders have taken offence to it and responded in a different tone altogether.
The moment you open any social networking sites, you’ll be flooded with varied jokes and graphics based on Indian politicians and politics. The current trend of such satires are inevitably based on the top notch political parties and their supremoes like, Congress, AAP, BJP and who can deny the constant jokes on our home-grown party, TMC.
As I browsed the internet, came across a very interesting take on Indian politics by Irfan – the new breed of cartoonists who gained popularity for his catchy graphics based on similar theme. If you think that it needs acute finesse to capture the funny bone of politics, you’re wrong. Many amateur artists and writers have also taken such steps and later became internet sensation.
Gone are the days when Jawaharlal Nehru who had a great sense of humour, once told cartoonist Shankar, "Don't spare me". It was also reported that once Laura Bush comically teased her husband George W Bush during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner of his inability to pronounce “nuclear”, his poor reading habits and even his bedtime activities. Can you imagine this in India?
“Ooh there you go again”, says future anonymous commenter “bootlicking the West.” I never get this logic. What is the problem in imbibing the good things of the West—their rationality, their work culture and their sense of humour?