Humans of Hindutva, a Facebook page that parodied the right-wing with satire, called it quits on Saturday, with the admin saying it wasn’t worth taking a bullet for and “I’m tired of explaining the intention behind my words again and again and again”.
“I thank you guys for reading through my random thoughts. But now it’s come to the point where I have to argue with people who I thought were on the same side as me,” the last Facebook post from the account read.
HoH borrowed its name from the popular Humans of New York, in which founder and artist Brandon Stanton captures people’s stories through his images.
The Facebook page commented on current events and politics, taking on the saffron brigade with acerbic posts and thinly-veiled criticism. The admin, who posted anonymously, often lampooned the cow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, news anchor Arnab Goswami and even author Chetan Bhagat.
Most recently, the page addressed the murder of journalist and right-wing critic Gauri Lankesh from earlier this week. “Chi chi. Such trial by media. I only believe news if they come straight from the horse’s (cow’s?) mouth,” Humans of Hindutva posted on Friday.
Some of the followers – and the page has more than 86,000 – have jokingly asked the writer which ‘University of sarcasm’ did he graduate from.
“I have been waiting for years for the Indian equivalent of The Onion or The Daily Mash but nothing came around,” the admin told Hindustan Times in an interview in July. “That’s when I realised that I should be the one to get the ball rolling.” Two of the popular characters featured in HoH’s posts are Bhaktiman, the defender of the misrepresented right-wing and his arch-nemesis, the Librandu.
But on Saturday, the writer said: “I have worked hard over this period and have written over 80,000 words of original ‘content’ in this short span.”
However, “your interaction with me has opened up a side inside that I didn’t even know existed, but in the bargain it has exhausted me to no end,” he added.
Satire, especially against the political class, has yet to be bred into a full-fledged genre in India. There are no TV shows similar to The Daily Show, The Late Night show or John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight in the US.
Of the 498 comments on the admin’s goodbye message, many of his followers appealed to him to not quit. “Hey, do not do this please. Your posts are wonderful to read. Take some time out if you want but do not quit,” said one Zohaib Hossain.
Others like Vishal Watwani said, “I can totally understand the exhaustion and constant state of anger because of incessant attacks by right wing’s troll army…”
The anonymous writer was offered a book deal after just two months of starting the page.