The Anti-Bhakt One-Man Army

POV

The Anti-Bhakt One-Man Army

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

Y

esterday, while the country was divided into sparring halves over demonetisation, a new website came into being. To the casual observer, it might seem like the mind behind http://satyanash.com/ supported PM Modi, his notebandi, and all his other initiatives. But look a little closer, and you realise that Satyanash is a sickular in bhakt’s clothing, hiding a cutting, unfiltered critique of the government and right wing extremism behind a carefully crafted veneer of liberal-bashing.

Satyanash is a sickular in bhakt’s clothing.

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Satyanash.com

This comes as no surprise to internet users who haven’t been under a digital rock recently. Over the last six months, a Facebook page called Humans of Hindutva has steadily gained traction for the way it parodies both the millennial-baiting “Humans of…” format and its pull-no-punches approach to calling out communal politicians and their droves of supporters. It’s operated by an anonymous admin, who uses his incognito status to fulfil the role of an anti-communal superhero. This Dark Knight of social media has, in less than a year, become an online phenomenon, the subject of numerous articles and interviews, and the target for a tidal wave of hate from the online bhakt army.

Humans of Hindutva has steadily gained traction for the way it parodies both the millennial-baiting “Humans of…” format and its pull-no-punches approach.

Humans of Hindutva/Facebook

If the HoH admin is Batman, then Satyanash is on track to become the Batcave. Just like the superhero’s hideout is where he keeps his hi-tech suits and his bitchin’ Batmobile, the Satyanash website is a repository for all of the anonymous admin’s attacks on Hindutva. The tongue-in-cheek tone (it offers live weather updates from Ayodhya) reminds you of the kid in Biology class who was quiet throughout the year, but had an evil glint in his eye and a laundry list of uncomfortable questions when the lesson on human reproduction was being taught.

He fights fire with fire and gives the right wing extremist crowd a dose of their own medicine

While other dissenters and anti-majoritarian critics have tried to distance themselves from the bile that people who are proud to be #FollowedByPMModi enjoy spewing, HoH stands out from the pack by gladly getting into the mud and wrestling the swine. Once the page gained popularity, the troll army descended en masse. Where the posts were once received with confusion (a perplexed bhakt once wondered why the page was attacking Hindutva and not Islamic terrorism), they now faced open hostility. What these bhakts failed to understand was that they were bringing a phooljari to a grenade fight.

Looking at the way HoH handled the waves of protestors, one gets the feeling that the admin writes his taunts and insults with the same dedication that Shakespeare crafted Macbeth. With a mix of damning screenshots from bhakht profiles, hilariously out-of-context stock photos, and an arsenal of hilariously composed insults (“Bhaktimaan” and “fatherchod” being two great examples), he fights fire with fire and gives the right wing extremist crowd a dose of their own medicine in ways that Faye D’Souza or Anurag Kashyap never could.

One gets the feeling that the admin writes his taunts and insults with the same dedication that Shakespeare crafted Macbeth.

Humans of Hindutva/Facebook

So, for those who don’t believe the myth that government can do no wrong, the Satyanash website is like Christmas coming early. It was announced on the HoH page as the admin’s way of celebrating Anti-Black Money Day, but what it really represents is the scaling up of the anti-communal agenda. Even while operating under the limitations of protecting his identity (for good reason), fighting against Facebook’s restrictive community guidelines, and weathering months of abuse and reports from the troll army, this faceless crusader has managed to gather enough resources to set up an independent platform for his views. It’s the first of its kind, in that it’s as relentless in its takedowns of the government is as the BJP is in their takedowns of Rahul Gandhi.

For those who don’t believe the myth that government can do no wrong, the Satyanash website is like Christmas coming early.

Humans of Hindutva/Facebook

With the advent of Satyanash, finally, for the first time since March 2014, non-bhakts have a reason to say, “Acche din aa gaye.” Meanwhile all that the troll army can do is lament, “Satyanash ho gaya!”

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