Message to Vir Das – is bagging your country wise when overseas?

Pictured is Indian comedian Vir Das who recently publicly criticised India

I love India. I do not think it is perfect – just like every other country, it of course is not perfect.

India is many cultures, many languages and with powerful regional differences.

It is experiencing massive generational change with Millennials and Gen Z changing the landscape from “born something” to “become something”.

This change is happening at a rapid rate – even with an “old” leader, PM Narendra Modi. Funny you chose to be critical of septuagenarian leaders in India when you were in a country with a 78 year old President who replaced a 75 year old. By contrast, Modi is a “youthful” 71.

Having said all that, I would not criticise India in any global forum or in any other country. Why not? I just don’t like negativity and especially not on the international stage. Since you are an Indian you might feel that you can make these criticisms.

So my message to Vir Das is simple – I am sorry you chose to focus on the negative, especially on the international stage. Of course, I believe you have a right to your view. But consider building your comedy with respect and care. India is not perfect – but it is changing fast.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

4 thoughts on “Message to Vir Das – is bagging your country wise when overseas?”

  1. India is not just far from perfect, it is on a rapid slide under Modi.

    The US Commission for International Religious Freedom has downgraded India as a ‘country of particular concern’ (CPC), alongside Pakistan, Saudi, North Korea and Myanmar for “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing and egregious religious freedom violations,” under Modi’s watch.

    Freedom House, in its recent report, has downgraded India from “Free” to “Partly Free” saying that Mr Modi was “tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”

    Swedish think-tank V-Dem called India an “electoral autocracy” and said the country was “on the verge of losing its status as a democracy.”

    Amnesty International had to shut its office last year amid raids, frozen bank accounts, and threats of imprisonment in India.

    India’s economy is crashing. Its GDP has fallen 24%, industrial output 38%, services 20% and manufacturing 39% in the past year. Unemployment was already at a 45-year high before COVID.

    Mr Modi has brought India to its knees socially, politically and economically.

    Your defence of the Indian government is disingenuous.


  2. Hi Stephen I accept that you should not be disrespectful but if we have arts so that they can bring attention to real problems .otherwise it will take 100 years to change I have seen hundreds of women who suffer donresgic violence emotional abuse and plain simple unhealthy marriages. But they dare not speak. Das did not touch on the very bad issues. It was light and insightful I don’t know why you think he should not speak. Do Australians or Americans or English comedians make fun of their country when they are abroad. India prides itself as a democracy. Is it a democratic thing to do to speak freely or should we be censured for speaking out I was wondering – are genuinely speaking for yourself ? Regards Manjula OConnor 0419354482

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Thanks for speaking up Manjula ji. Your analogy of women victims not talking about domestic violence because of ‘ghar ki izzat’ is spot on. Many of us raise our concerns about India’s human rights violations because we want India to be a better place and we seek greater accountability from the Indian government. Right now, Modi has no accountability because he has never been questioned on his actions and performance by the media in his seven and a half years.


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