On 26th May 2016, comedian Tanmay Bhat posted a video on Snapchat titled ‘Sachin vs. Lata Civil War’
Bhat, co-founder of the comedy group All India Bakchod (AIB), shared the video on the social media messaging platform Snapchat, poking fun at the Bharat Ratna awardees Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar. The video parodied a conversation between the 2, discussing Virat Kohli’s talents before descending to petty name-calling and insults.
The video went viral after Bhat posted it on Facebook
The post on the comedian’s official Facebook page received 5,23,000 views, over 4,000 comments and around 2,000 shares in just 4 days. This made it a topic of conversation overnight.
After the post went viral, Bhat became one of the trending topics on Twitter
Tanmay Bhat was both criticised and defended on social media. The Facebook post resulted in immediate outrage. Critics called it disrespectful and derogatory, while his defenders cited freedom of speech and described the outcry as overblown. The debate over whether he ‘crossed the line’ made Bhat the trending topic on Twitter India on Monday, 30th May.
Bhat came under immense political backlash and was asked to apologise
Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) filed an FIR with Mumbai Police and demanded a public apology from the comedian. Meanwhile, both BJP and Shiv Sena urged Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to act against Bhat. Finally, Mumbai Police asked Facebook and YouTube to take down the video.
However, Tanmay Bhat appears to be unperturbed by the furore
Having already been the recipient of severe criticism over AIB’s notorious 2014 comedy ‘roast,’ Bhat seemed to take it all in his stride on this occasion. He even joked on Twitter about benefiting from this, requesting angry commenters to mention his Snapchat ID (thetanmay) and later jokingly even asking Snapchat to pay him for the increased attention.