Speaking to the media for the first time since the ‘I Come From Two Indias’ controversy, stand-up comedian Vir Das said that he has made his country laugh for ten years now and hopes to continue writing “love letters” to India.
“I think laughter is a celebration. When laughter and applause fill up a room, that’s a moment of pride. Any Indian who has a sense of humour, understands satire or watches my entire video, knows that’s what happened in that room,” the comedian said, regarding the controversial video in an interview with NDTV.
Das is currently in New York for the International Emmy Awards 2021, where he has been nominated in the Comedy section for his Netflix special ‘Vir Das: For India’.
His recent act, which was put out on YouTube, ‘I Come From Two Indias’ landed the comedian in trouble, with two complaints – in Delhi and Mumbai – lodged against him. While actor Kangana Ranaut called him a ‘criminal’ for his comments, stating it was “soft terrorism”, the comedian drew support from the likes of Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor.
“I can’t expect what happens when I put out a piece of content — it’s jokes, it’s not in my hands,” Das stated. “I think a comedian puts out satire, it has the good of the country and the bad of the country, ending in the good of country…that’s something you should want to come together in,” he said.
“I have made my country laugh for 10 years now. I have devoted my life to writing about my country. We are here at the Emmys because I wrote a love letter to my country. As long as I am able to do my comedy, I want to keep writing love letters to my country,” Das said.
He added that he has also received a humbling amount of love for the performance, stating that “as an artiste you receive all kinds of feedback.”
Responding to Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra refusing to let him perform in the state hereon, Das said, “I will have to cross those bridges when we come to them, humbly.”
In an advice to young comedians out there, Das quipped, “Write jokes and hope to hell that people watch all of them, the full thing, in its actual context.”
When asked if he had faced any censorship or asked to toned down a joke, Das said, “No, they are jokes! People love jokes. People love to laugh.”