kunal kamra and the morphed mentality

A blade is not useful or harmful in its own right. A surgeon could use it to save a life, and a murderer could employ it to take one. In this day and age, the same rings true for the power of social media. One could brighten lives with it, or shove them into the darkness of abuse and hatred.

A controversy is making rounds on the internet wherein both Kunal Kamra and the YouTube channel Peeing Human allegedly uploaded morphed videos of a child innocently singing a heart-warming patriotic song to the nation’s Prime Minister on his visit to Berlin, Germany. Songs with the likes of ‘mehengai daayan’ from a movie Peepli LIVE and another lately trending on social media were used to mask the voice of a 7-year-old. But, as it turns out, they could doctor one voice but not the hundreds more that marched forward to defend it.

The child’s concerned parent immediately called out the mistaken Kunal for his act. This was followed by a flood of retweets and complaints about the tweet to be withdrawn. However, Kamra confronted him tweeting “The video is in the public domain by a news organization.” An accommodating and receptive response could have settled the matter in the blink of an eye. 

The tweet was not taken back until the National Council for Protection of Child Rights stepped into the picture, promptly reacting to the complaints lodged in light of the issue. “Using minors for political ideologies is a violation of the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and the Information Technology Rules, 2021.”- the circular by NCPCR, dated 5.5.2022 commented. It also expressed its apprehensions about the toll such videos might take on the impressionable minds of minors. Today is the time for setting examples and not opinions, and the proactive approach by the council has stood up to this.

We breathe in a thriving democracy and questioning the government is a right each one of us proudly boasts. It is the means which distinguishes two persons condemning the same system, and not the end. Kunal has repeatedly used comedy and satire as a tool to mirror the shortfalls of the government. This resonates with the central idea of democracy and is justified in all proportions. But the bone of contention lies in the path he chooses.

 

A CALL TO ACTION

Be it his derogatory remarks on Sadhguru or the contempt of the Supreme Court, he has been unable to save face from the all-knowing public eye, time and again. All of this can be tackled on legal grounds, but not the abuse of a video that was released with a noble and patriotic vision. Pushing a child into the crossfire of political statements and counter-statements is not only Kunal’s loss or even the potential loss of the little one’s well-being. It is the loss of each one of us, who is face-to-face with the truth, yet sleeps with eyes wide open on the atrocity in the name of comedy.

Come what may, Peepoye will continue to safeguard both the unity that weaves the fabric of our nation and the songs wrapped in patriotism that makes us who we are. We know you do too.

Join forces by retweeting and tagging NCPCR!

“Why play with the mental health of a child and drag him into politics? Not everything is comedy. A line needs to be drawn."

– Akassh Ashok Gupta 

References and links

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