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Cooking Up A Political Opinion: Do Comedians Shape The Way We See Politics?

With the assistance of comedy and satire, the modern youth are developing a political awareness about their administration and government, most of which is through social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Certain stand-up comedians go to the extent of critically commenting on and against certain government policies through humour and satire in an entertaining way.

Political comedians such as Kunal Kamra, and Varun Grover videos on YouTube have garnered crores of views and scores of comments. The comment section is often full of hate comments to support or oppose the comedian stance. This article aims to analyze the comment section to develop a netnographic understanding keeping in view the political scenario.

Representational image.

Nowadays, it’s significant for government officials to be as happy with talking strategy as they are making a decent quip. It doesn’t damage to have the option to take a joke either. In truth, governmental issues and parody have a long, celebrated history—in the previous scarcely any decades satire and legislative issues have gone from weird associates to indivisible collusion.

Sarcastic programming, for example, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report has become some portion of our normal political culture and an essential wellspring of news and data for youth. Saturday Night Live keeps on introducing engaging takes on the day’s political occasions, while more up to date types of correspondence like YouTube recordings, Twitter feeds, and Tumblr images normally tackle political subjects and make jokes about political competitors.

When taking a gander at political satire’s highlights, correspondence researchers have given an abundance of examination on amusing gadgets and shows, clarifying everything from how visual jokes work to how humour can make spaces to discuss untouchable subjects. Analysts in this convention additionally have inspected political satire’s ideological and moral capacities—for instance, investigating how certain movies or network shows use parody to challenge or propagate racial/ethnic generalizations.

So also, in covering political parody’s commitments to open issues, some correspondence analysts have investigated the elements of praise and chuckling in political conversations, the kinds of political parody currently creating in various nations, and the common and fun-loving highlights of meetings on The Daily Show and different projects as models for municipal commitment.

Through the evolution of human civilization since history, better communication was a means of having better control over the people. The better the communicator the better they could manipulate people’s opinions. Never before in the history of humankind was this ever possible that if somebody wanted to say something, a million people would sit and listen. Even the greatest of dictators probably had few thousands of people or maybe a few lakhs of people.

social media protests
People just want entertainment, and thus comedians are revolutionizing the means of protest. Representational image.

With the oncoming of social media, what is essentially happening is whatever you have to say if it is worthwhile, the entire world will listen to you. So it depends on how you communicate better. Communicating in a way that is more comprehensible for the people is essential. As a result, in a country as diverse as India where our political problems are diverse i.e. variety of political problems are there.

While running a nation, there can be different opinions specifically in a country which as diverse as India. This means there can be several opinions to challenges as well. It’s a very new phenomenon in India that somebody is trying to do the same using comedy as a medium, using humour as a tool. Comedy is very attractive to people, it’s not didactic, it’s very involving, people enjoy listening to humour. People just want entertainment, and thus these people are revolutionizing the means of protest.

Using these tools, they are trying to create an opinion towards the people which is otherwise also sometimes represented and misrepresented as awareness.

Have you known about the adage “laughter is the best medication?” Well, satire may simply spare us sincerely and mentally, and with critical environmental change issues, maybe the earth all in all.

Stand up comedians, for example, Kunal Kamra, Varun Grover and a few others have carried expanded attention to policy-driven issues to the Indian cognizance.

Strikingly, the well-known journalist Arnab Goswami, owner of the channel Republic TV, has been the subject of Kunal Kamra’s videos. Kamra’s viewership, numbered at around 17.0 million individuals, has recently gone up by in excess of a million people, and his political videos frequently trend on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well. These expanded numbers show that parody has affected society and keeps on developing. These standup videos are well known and have been utilizing their huge and developing crowds to instruct Indians about political issues.

Kamra uses comedy to instruct Indians about political issues.

Parody is significant because it represents issues in a comical manner. It also asks the crowd for a fundamental inquiry: how would we roll out an improvement? Satire has focused on issues over the political range, which is significant in thinking about different viewpoints and recognizing that sadly, imperfections exist no matter how you look at them.

However, not every person perceives parody as parody which can be an issue. It makes it harder to discover an answer.

Let’s take the case of political entertainer Kunal Kamra’s first-since forever stand-up cut in the year 2017. He began accepting death threats within 10 days. The 8-minute clasp, Patriotism and the Government, spun around the now-popular punchline, “Siachen mein humaare jawaan lad rahe hain,” (Our soldiers are fighting in Siachen) a humdinger that makes jokes about the hyper-patriot Indian who summons the military as a protection for the administration’s inadequacies.

The video took three months to increase genuine footing; it presently has more than 13 million perspectives on YouTube. Abuse and death threats have become an ordinary element for Kunal Kamra, and he doesn’t pay attention to them as well.

The demise dangers itself uncovering how individuals have taken spoof in the wrong sense. Or on the other hand, their scorn might be not for Kunal yet for his content which he utilizes as a mode for humour.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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