This summer, Article index takes you to meet the influencers of the world. Every day, a man or woman who commits himself and puts his digital notoriety at the service of a cause. Today, we follow Akash Banerjee in India who specialized in political satire.
It is a new and stripper genre in India. Akash Banerjee has created one of the most popular YouTube channels in his country in the field of political satire. Black glasses on the nose, religious necklace around the neck, he embodies the Desh-Bhakt: the patriot, in Hindi. It is, according to him, a weapon to better criticize.
“Nationalism stands up to facts and criticism,” says Akash Banerjee. T we politicians use it to accuse those who question them of being traitors. To counter them, I decided, ironically, to become the certification authority of patriotism. And to call my channel “Desh-Bhakt”, the Patriot.”
Akash Banerjee worked as a journalist for 15 years, but he no longer believes in the independence of the traditional media, controlled by companies close to the government. So three years ago, he created this YouTube channel in Hindi, the language of the people where, like Trevor Noah in the United States, he makes a mockation of elected officials and imitates nationalists who blindly support the government. “One of our most popular videos is one of the simplest,” assumes Akash Banerjee.
Prime Minister Modi is seen wearing a vase over his head and promises fall. Ten promises he made and we are tired of hearing like ‘the glorious days have arrived’ or ‘gasoline will become cheaper’. The video has been viewed more than four million times.”
“A traditional journalist can do all the research and calculations he wants, but who is going to read it? On the other hand, if someone like me takes all these figures and makes them accessible to the common people, it is disturbing.”
His channel has already exceeded two million subscribers, one of the most popular in India in the field. But the government does not appreciate this success. New rules impose very strict moderation rules on this kind of platforms that comment on current events. A potential obstacle to this satirist work.