The Saga of Comedians and Online Hate; Agrima Joshua & Shubham Mishra Controversy

Indian comedians and their Indian audiences have quite a history together. Whether it be the infamous AIB roast or Kunal Kamra haters or the recent comedian Agrima Joshua. Humans with cameras in their hands, a voice, and an internet presence have never ever failed to astonish me. Well, you know I love digging the “badass” content!

Agree to Disagree, What is that?

The whole situation arose when a year-old video of Agrima Joshua surfaced where she was performing a joke about the memorial statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The video consisted of her over the top experience on Quora about the statue. The video started going viral. Some people found it offensive to the Maratha ruler and what do we do after we get offended? Do we confront the person in charge directly? NO. Do we politely ask them to take the content down? Phew, lol. Do we agree to disagree? Keep dreaming woman! We go behind the anonymity and the vastness of the virtual world and hurl abuses. Even better, we use our social media platform with a considerable number of followers and sexually threaten a woman. Spoiler alert! This is not what dissent should look like. 

My aim in life is to grow up and become the best gossip aunty out there. So for practice, I like to read comments on random people’s Instagram handle. After years of being in the profile check-out business, I have come to the conclusion that anything that goes wrong is met out by people commenting on women’s bodies. Ownership comes more naturally to us rather than love, respect and understanding. Violence becomes the ultimate response towards any form of deviance in opinions (between the content creator & the audience). Violence in the form of rape threats, name calling and commenting on body parts. Our dear flag bearers of online violence do not even spare the female family members of the creator. Whatsoever be the context and whosoever is the speaker, it does not matter! The ultimate aim becomes to threaten the women’s body. 

The Age of Online Wars

Online hate can surpass any decency that you took for granted. Cadbury dairy milk came up with an online campaign in 2019 to fight against cyber bullying. So, whenever you come across a troll or hate comment, you send a purple heart to the person who is trolling. The purple heart signifies that you are with the person getting trolled and that you are united against cyber bullying. The campaign maybe old but uniting against cyber bullying is still a need of the hour!

Also, to the people who will tell me that, ‘Hey, voicing out on social media does not work’. Well, Shubham Mishra, the person who in the viral video threatened comedian Agrima Joshua to rape her has been arrested. This was possible due to the endless support and the numerous supporters that mass reported him. Many (almost all) personalities from the stand comedy world came forward to address this issue and stood with Joshua. 

Satires and comedians is not a new form of dissent or questioning. It has existed for some time now and it will stay! Comedians are often told to tell ‘joke’ without bringing in religion, politics, culture and much more in their creative zones. Stand up comedians are often left in a dicey situation to choose from the ‘clean’ comedy or their usual sets. I am no one to tell you to change your taste or liking towards a particular type of comedy but, as a person constantly on social media I can always say that the way we choose to react to it can be changed. So, let’s grasp some online manners and binge watch Tanmay Bhat’s Vlogs!

Author: Anukriti Khemka

Anukriti Khemka is the Digital Ninja of The Wonk. She handles all the digital needs of The Wonk. She also writes for her column "Talking Trends". She loves to analyse digital trends and make sense out of them.

One thought

Leave a Reply