Kumar Vishwas, the one-trick wonder, is back again with a show he describes as ‘satire.’ Vishwas has donned many hats in his ‘career.’ Riding on the popularity of his ‘catchy’, on the surface and bereft of any literary value ‘poem’, he found much acclaim among the people who occupy the front row seats in any Salman Khan movie. Not dissimilar to the way of his ascension in ‘literary circuit’, Vishwas’ political journey began with the then ‘in’ trend of anti-corruption crusade. He joined the newly formed AAP and was counted among one of the closest confidantes of Arvind Kejriwal. While disillusioned with Kejriwal’s antics, one by one other comrades deserted the AAP boat, Vishwas chose to stick with the party and supported Kejriwal even when his supposed nationalism was overwhelmingly undermined by Kejriwal’s despicable statements on surgical strikes and Indian Army. Initially, he was rewarded with the posting as vice-president of Sahitya Academy after AAP came to power, succeeding his much illustrious predecessor, Ashok Chakradhar. Despite his ambitions and his perceived contributions to AAP, this was the last reward he was to get.
The moral decline of AAP continued and so did the list of people abandoning the party citing Kejriwal’s dictatorial conduct and disillusion with the party’s ambivalent moral compass. However, unlike the persona of ‘nayak’ against injustice he projects on stage through his poems brimming with ‘Vir Ras’, Vishwas chose political expediency over self-respect. While on stage, Vishwas pretended to be ‘Krishna’ exhorting others to fight the battle but remained ‘Dhritarashtra’ when it came to standing up for what he believed in within the party. Kejriwal kept undermining his stature in the party and Vishwas remained pliant, hoping eventually his loyalty will pay off. Kejriwal had other plans. Vishwas finally found the ‘courage’ he often talks about on stage after he was ignored for AAP Rajya Sabha seat. Although now taking pot-shots on Kejriwal on twitter, Vishwas has still not resigned from the party. Eternal romantic or hopelessly naïve?
After his failed sojourn in politics, Vishwas returned to what he claims his ‘first love’, writing. Only this time, he was not to write cheap imitations and misguided rip-offs of ‘Chhayawadi’ era. Instead, he did something much different. He focused on cheap imitation and misguided rip-offs of political satire of some of the legendary Hindi satirists. His weekly ‘satire’ column appearing in a hindi newspaper would disgust anyone familiar with Narendra Kohli’s satires. Vishwas’ writing style is an unflattering imitation of Kohli’s substance and style and he fails miserably on both counts. At the risk of imitating Vishwas’ humor, the paper which was wasted on his column would be much happier absorbing excess oil from samosas.
However, Vishwas was not done when it came to defiling satire, inflicting pain on sensibilities and continuing his assault on Hindi vyangya. He somehow has landed a TV show imaginatively titled ‘KV Sammelan’. Not surprisingly, the title is the most creative and funniest part of his entire show. Even more unsurprisingly, considering his past endeavor in satire, the show is a mixture of unoriginal ideas. The format is heavily ‘influenced’ by Kapil Sharma show, the ‘jokes’ (leap of imagination required here) are both imitation of dime-a-dozen stand-up comedians or recycled tweets and the ‘banter’ of Navjot Singh Sidhu. However, this is not the most abominable part of the show. Perhaps conscious of his abilities when it comes to satire, Kumar Vishwas has hopped on the bandwagon of ‘anti-Modi’ genre which has made the career of several ‘comics’ who otherwise would not have found employment even as a party clown. Kumar Vishwas relies on clichéd, repetitive anti-Modi ‘jokes’ which could not even elicit hearty laughter from his ‘captive audience.’ Kumar Vishwas’ active party affiliation makes the ‘non-partisan’ premise of the show extremely hollow which is further cemented by his biased rants on the Modi government and his strategic silence on AAP and Kejriwal. Some of the blame of this disaster must be put on the channel ‘Aaj Tak’ as well which gave a platform to an AAP member to propagate his political tirade.
#KVSammelanAajTak के मंच पर सबसे पहले पहुंचे प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी… अपनी योजनाओं के बारे में विस्तार से जानकारी दे रहे हैं ये जनाब। @DrKumarVishwas के साथ #KVSammelanAajTak
Live: https://t.co/fOz5QPBVsD pic.twitter.com/L933i0jXrS
— आज तक (@aajtak) September 29, 2018
The only silver-lining of the show are the unknown poets invited by KV some of whom appear to be promising but their talent is ruined by the over-bearing presence of Kumar Vishwas.
While Kumar Vishwas might survive this abomination, the political satire, especially in Hindi, has taken a serious hit with this insincere, witless, hollow, heavily partisan political rant of a show. Let us hope another Kumar Vishwas does not emerge in Hindi satire.
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