'State-orchestrated massacre,' says Kunal Kamra about COVID-19, gets severe backlash
Calling COVID-19 a "state-orchestrated massacre," popular stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra lashed out at the PM Narendra Modi-led government in a recent opinion piece on The New York Times. The video essay on the publication has him saying how Modi "blatantly" lied when he said India had defeated the virus this January, and that "even I, as a comedian, am struggling to satirize this absurdity."
This is where even I stop laughing, Kamra said
With Adam B. Ellick and Veda Shastri as producers, the little over six-minute clip has Kamra narrating the opinion piece from a stand-up comedy stage. Starting with a scathing attack, the 32-year-old introduced himself and said, "I'm a stand-up comedian from India, and this is where even I stop laughing." He then continued to say how the world is reopening, but "we're still suffering."
Kumbh Mela was a 'gathering of millions and millions'
The comedian supported his claim of "state-orchestrated massacre" by mentioning the super-spreader events such as the Kumbh Mela, which was a "gathering of millions and millions," and West Bengal election rallies that took place in the country, even when COVID-19 cases were on a rise. He then pointed fingers at the bodies of "suspected COVID deaths" that were seen floating in the Ganga river.
'Modi runs India on cocktail of bizarre lies, high-octane hypocrisy'
"Modi runs India on a cocktail of bizarre lies and high-octane hypocrisy. My people are needlessly dying. Our government has blood on its hands. And boy, he can act," said the Shut Up Ya Kunal creator, referring to the recent emotional outpouring the PM had while condoling COVID-19 deaths. Meanwhile, as soon as the video dropped, Kamra, often called "anti-national," started getting trolled.
Kamra and NYT were relentlessly attacked for the piece
Kunal Kamra has no official standing to comment against our government and that too to an international news paper.— Ordinary Person (@ordinarperson01) June 23, 2021
Reaction: Netizens trolled him, Swara Bhasker lauded the comedian
While some users branded the comic a "street-side joker," one netizen called the piece a "new low" for NYT. "Kunal Kamra in NYT, next Washington Post will get KRK to do an Op-Ed (sic)," read another. However, many praised Kamra for openly calling out names, including actress Swara Bhasker. Film writer Arpita Chatterjee also said, "The fearless Kunal Kamra calls out this govt."