Kunal Kamra Slams Govt For ‘Blood On Its Hands’ In Scathing Video Essay for NYT

By Bhanuj Kappal 23 June 2021

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If you’ve ever worked in a newsroom, it’s easy to get irked at headlines about how “comics are the new journalists”, as if journalism was merely the presentation of your opinions in an entertaining format. But a video essay in the New York Times is hard to argue with. The iconic American newspaper of record just released an opinion video with comedian and satirist Kunal Kamra, which compares the Modi government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to a “state-orchestrated massacre.”

Kamra collaborated with documentary film-makers Veda Shastri and Gabe Johnson, as well as NYT executive producer Adam B. Ellick on the six-and-a-half-minute video, which eschews punchlines in favour of a sober yet scathing portrayal of the second wave’s devastation. Kamra and the team marshal a ton of facts, figures and news clips to buttress the argument that the over-confidence and denialism of the Modi government contributed to the scale of the second wave, which overwhelmed public health systems all across the country.

“My people are needlessly dying,” Kamra says in the video. “Our government has blood on its hands.”

Kamra and the film-makers spent four weeks working with the newspaper, whittling down an initial 17-18 minute script to its current runtime. The comedian says he was impressed with the NYT’s fact-checking. “Everything that came out of my mouth is 100% verified and can be backed up with sources,” he told DeadAnt.

“I mostly did it to see how it is to collaborate with an international publication,” Kamra added. “We all worked together on the script, they told me what would work for an international audience, what wouldn’t. Overall it was a great experience.”


Disclaimer: The author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the contents and information or the opinions of individuals set out in the story are reported as they are and as events unfolded and were correct at the time when this article was published. The view and opinions expressed in the article or the events set out therein do not reflect the personal view and opinions of the author and publisher but the opinion of the individuals named in the article. This is a reported news piece, and the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions. No part of this report is published to cause any discomfort or to hurt the sentiments of any individual, group or community.


Bhanuj Kappal

Bhanuj Kappal is a culture journalist who likes being shamed by Dead Ant’s editor on social media for missing deadlines, and dislikes… well, everything else.


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