Comedians taking on the establishment is not new. More comedians in India have turned to politics for material, but one of the few who has managed to create a furore is Kunal Kamra.
Last year, after the stand-up comedian uploaded a set called ‘Patriotism & the Government’, he got trolled endlessly and even got death threats.
On Wednesday, the comedian put out a lengthy Facebook status, along with a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation. The screenshot leaves no space for doubt. Kamra’s landlady asks him to vacate his house because of ‘political issues’ that were coming up.
In the status, Kamra addresses younger comedians, where he tells them things he has experienced.
“As a comedian having a political opinion comes at a cost,” Kamra says.
He then details the work he has lost out on because of political comedy, celebrities who appreciate his work in private but do not support him publicly, being cancelled from shows because “someone from a political party decides to show up at the last minute”, how he does work for brands but it isn’t put up, the trolling he has faced and more.
“Slowly and steadily you will even see that comedians who started out with you, don't want to be seen with you on social media because they don't want to risk what they have going for themselves. You are ‘Ya I get it, our friendship doesn't need insta validation’,” he writes.
You can view his full post here:
"In India, political comedy means poking fun at Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal. People want to lap up inconsequential humour alone. The moment you joke about people in power, it becomes a case of national pride. How on Earth can people laugh at powerful people when they are only meant to be revered?" he earlier told Mid-Day.
Kamra also has a podcast called ‘Shut Up Ya Kunal’, where he calls people in politics as well as newsmakers for a civil discussion on issues.