The internet in India, it seems, is having a moment. An excellent cover story in the Indian Express’s weekend magazine Eye, highlights the rising role of online political satirists in shaping public opinion on everything from culture to politics.
‘They go where mainstream media is too timid to venture, they hold a funhouse mirror to the powerful, and when they’re good, they’re very, very good.’ From Faking News and The Unreal Times to All India Bakchod and The Viral Factory, the article spans their collective and quite frankly, admirable efforts.
Take this spot on piece on Times Now’s Arnab Goswami by The Viral Factory.
Or this rape awareness viral from All India Bakchod.
They’re smart, cutting and also very timely. It’s election year and these sites have gathered critical mass quickly – including sites like ScoopWhoop and StoryPick that the article doesn’t feature. In a time of carefully managed, ‘Obama style’ internet campaigning and barking matches that make for prime time discussion shows, a brave, alternative voice is very welcome indeed.
Closer to home, it serves as a reminder that big budgets and bland, carpet-bombing marketing are no replacement for wit and a strong, original voice. Brands, marketing heads and social media managers, take note.