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Satire-writers admit they just pretend to be writing for purposes like changing the society

(Concept: Tanay Sukumar)

Some well-known satire writers on Indian blogs have bowed to public pressure and have admitted that what they write makes no effective improvements in the society as we know it. “We just pretend to be writing for the purpose of changing the society,” said Tanay Sukumar, the Editor of News That Matters Not, a well-known Indian news satire website, which claims to be “Inspiring Change Through Humour” on its Facebook page. He went on to explain why he felt so: “The lazy society is unmoved by things way more serious than satire, like politics, social activists, Arnab Goswami, and well, Baba Ramdev. There really is no way that writing satire makes any difference on the opinions of the people. It’s only a means of recreational reading for them, and a bit of fame for us. Things would have been different if we were some TV soap-opera, motivating people to start fighting amongst themselves for no apparent reason.”

When questioned why he is doing something he doesn’t have faith in, he replied, “There always is the hope that they will eventually get tired by straight talk, and will come around to see satire as a powerful weapon to achieve the larger purpose. And who knows, they might also like our fanpage.” The biggest evidence, he says, was that Manmohan Singh has not learnt anything after NTMN wrote lines like “I didn’t mention Manmohan Singh since I don’t talk about fictional characters” (link). The government, telephone service providers, astrologers, and Rakhi Sawant have maintained their resolve of never changing for others.

NTMN makes claims like making the reader "think along as they get amused." What's amusing, is that no one has thought about it yet.

To confirm if there was any truth to his claims, we decided to check in on some readers of other such sites. Rowdy Daddy, who insisted we call him by that name, and happens to be an avid reader of satire, expressed his views on the matter. “It’s not far from the truth. What satire merely manages is to make fun of situations, people and characters. I visit these sites almost daily, and yet I haven’t become any better socially than I already was. I read, I like, I comment, I tweet, but that’s it. These articles don’t have a long-lasting impact on my mind, or on my ideology.”

“I’ve come across so many passionate satire writers who say, ‘We’re writing sensible things in the name of satire and we hope people read it and their thoughts change, and the society becomes a much better place.’ But in fact they realize later that all they manage through their work is to gather more and more readers, and nothing else. Satire is ineffective in the purpose these writers intend to fulfill,” said another regular satire reader.

A respected (?) writer on a popular satire site started talking to us only when we guaranteed that his name would not be published. He elaborated, “We mock a lot of politicians, but sometimes I feel like a politician myself. People flock around stadiums to listen to whatever gibberish a politician has to say, and then forget all about it the moment they step outside. In the same way, readers visit our sites, give in their inputs and forget all about it soon enough.” Do you intend to be taken as serious writers, working for the social upliftment of the country then? “Yes, that is our ultimate motive, to bring about a change. As long as a revolution can be sustained, the means to achieve it are irrelevant and inconsequential.”

He further went on to say that he was foreseeing a change in the pattern. “I am an optimistic man, despite all that cynical stuff I just said. Believe me, things will change. With the advent of social platforms, the reputation of satire writers has increased substantially. And, I remain confident that with the rise of the youth of the country, we will ultimately be able to make a difference.”

About the author

Kumar Pratik

Exorcist, Demonologist, and Master of the Dark Arts. Just kidding. Part of NTMN since May 2011 and Editor-in-Chief from 2013 to 2014.

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