Are Indian Men the Original Incels?

Social Commentary

Are Indian Men the Original Incels?

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Earlier this year, an attack in Toronto brought an internet scourge into the mainstream. Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old Canadian man had driven his van on to a busy pavement and had mowed down several people, killing 10. Minassian had apparently left a Facebook note announcing that “the ‘incel’ rebellion has begun,” leaving many wondering if he had misspelled ISIS. But the attacker was in fact referring to “Incels”, an online community of “involuntary celibates”, who due to their self-proclaimed shitty personalities and less-than-ideal physical features, believe that they will remain virgins for life. This, they think, is fair reason to hate on every woman to have existed.

The attack had prompted a great deal of public hand-wringing, with several think pieces and explainer videos dedicated to understanding the phenomenon. But if I were to explain it in a nutshell, the “incel” is part of the larger “manosphere”, which classifies men into groups according to the well-known and totally scientific theory posited by The Matrix (1999). You can get ringside seats to this tamasha which is unfolding in the public square of the internet, Reddit.

But first, a crash course in terminology.

Men who’ve taken the blue pill, are “normies” who live to see incels cry, and enjoy relationships with women. They don’t spend their time wondering how to enslave all of the female gender and use them as sexual objects, making them, in the eyes of the incels, a bunch of “cucks”. Then there are the guys who claim to have taken the “red pill” – real hardcore these chaps are. They believe all women are shallow and DTF, provided the man is muscular and/or rich enough. As a result, you’ll often find one of these guys at a gym by themselves holding a bottle of protein shake, and wondering how best to get women drunk.

And then there are the incels, who say they have consumed the “black pill”. This means that they – luckily – will no longer seek relationships because they are too disgusted by the dating world, which is busy worshipping “Stacys” (superficial women), and “Chads” (alpha males). Incels assume Stacys and Chads are constantly hooking up and having a great time while ignoring incels, a line of thought which is simultaneously narcissistic and exhausting.

Most Indian men, who eat mommy issues with breakfast, are looking for that final replacement. They want a woman who’ll cook all hours of the day, and won’t accept that they have sexual desires.

All incels, as the name implies, are virgins, otherwise they are fakecels. Some attribute this virginity to their short stature (manlets), others say they’re too nerdy (braincels), some just really dislike both women and sex (volcels). The incels, who are mostly based abroad, yearn for the days of arranged marriages, when women were forced into being with men like them, and think feminism is a cancer on society. This culminates in some highly thought-provoking [Serious] discussions, such as:

A conclusive answer to that debate is still being contested.

But do any of the traits sound familiar? Sure they do: Incel ideology is reflected in the views of every other Indian man you’ve met. We may not have dedicated forums and a snazzy portmanteau name, but we do have a bunch of involuntary celibates. Most Indian men are probably not going to have sex until they are arranged to be married, a large number of us swipe through dating apps like Tinder and look at pictures of women way out of our league. Casual misogyny related to women staying out late, and jokes about having hot chapatis on the plate, come as naturally as gas attacks in the morning.

The incel forums have picked up on this, with the braincels (that’s how you know they’re the smartest of the lot) triggering a discussion on whether, in 20 years, India will be the home of incels. They even gave us sub-continentals our own fun name, the currycels. As you’d imagine, currycels quickly fell to the bottom of the barrel in the incel hegemony – according to an Urban Dictionary submission, a currycel is a “sub-8 manlet”, which sounds fucked up as it is. That currycels are also often correlated with the “show bob” and “send vagene” memes does not help matters.

To the absolute surprise of no one, currycels have taken this to heart. They are a subsect of incels after all. This has led to several Indian Americans fighting the good fight against the white man on incel forums, albeit with a bit of an inferiority complex:


Most Indian men, who eat mommy issues with breakfast, are looking for that final replacement. They want a woman who’ll cook all hours of the day, and won’t accept that they have sexual desires. Couple this with some additional “involuntary” societal reasons for them to be celibate – maybe the girl you like and who likes you back is from another caste, so you must marry who the family picks. Eventually, I think we can all lay the blame at the door of patriarchy.   

In almost all urban schools and colleges across India, you’ll find a mix of the red, blue, and black pillers. The less wealthy students will always feel inferior to the so-called “Chads”, and will always lose out on the girl because they’re too busy calling everyone fake names like Chad and Stacy. Besides, most Indian men aren’t known for being the smoothest around women – largely because our idea of dating comes from porn and Bollywood.

Incels too are largely inspired by porn. Videos of women being paid to have sex are often shared within this virgin community as “proof” that Stacys will “degrade” themselves for Chads, and that society is morally bankrupt. Meanwhile they continue to make disgusting statements directed at women and deliver death threats to women and “blue pill” men alike.

Clearly their definition of morally bankrupt differs from mine.

Meanwhile, Reddit may have banned the incel community from its subs post the Toronto terror attack, but this has just ensured that the incels regroup and hit back hard at Reddit, by terming its users… you guessed it, a bunch of cucks. Back home as salacious Bollywood rumours rule WhatsApp and Men’s Rights Activists continue to get emboldened everytime they “take on a feminist,” our inceldom only seems to be on the rise. Indian men are, after all, the original incels.