The dogs of West Bengal saw some stiff competition this week, from a human who mastered the art of barking and whining like a canine. Srikanti Dutta found his moment of fame recently after his protest video went viral. Complaining to a government official about his name misspelled as 'Srikant Kutta' on his ration card, the man decided to live up to his new surname and barked his heart out right when the official was about to leave in a car.
Dutta’s unique protest has gone viral, with many agreeing that this is perhaps the only way to talk to government babus! For most others though, the video serves as simply meme fodder.
As per ANI, Dutta had actually applied to have his name changed thrice. To quote him directly,
While India has had its fair share of mass movements and even single-person protests, some of them make the headlines for humour’s sake or just for being strangely unique. From awarding animals to fight nepotism to delivering pink underwear to street vigilantes, these are a few recent examples that come to mind.
1. How to protest against nepotism? Give awards to donkeys, dogs, buffaloes, cows and oxen.
Every year, the state of Karnataka marks November 1 as its foundation day, AKA Karnataka Rajyotsava. Given the importance of the occasion, the Karnataka state government also announces the winners of the Rajyotsava Awards on this day with over 60 people getting the civil honour annually.
But for local MLA Vatal Nagaraj (who represents a lesser-known party called KCVP), a lot of lobbying, corruption, and nepotism goes on behind these awards. So, he shunned the ceremony in 2015. Instead, Nagaraj decided to spend his Rajyotsava by honouring several animals ranging from donkeys to cows.
Nagaraj went on to award plaques and even hang medals around the animals’ necks, adding that these creatures are more hard-working, loyal, and disciplined than the human award winners. The animal protest did not bring any changes to the Rajyotsava Awards but Nagaraj got enough press attention, even being photographed riding a donkey on that day!
Maybe, Kangana Ranaut would also resort to a similar protest if Karan Johar & Co continue indulging in nepotism.
2. Done with conservative boomers? Courier them 'pink chaddis'
Much in the vein of Bajrang Dal on Valentine’s Day, the vigilante group Sri Ram Sena announced in 2009 that it would forcefully marry off young couples if they were spotted together on February 14. The members were armed with thalis (plates) and mangalsutra (the wedding locket worn by Hindu married women) in case they spotted any lovebirds on the streets.
The organisation gained further controversy that year after they raided a night club in Mangalore and beat up the women patrons.
To counter the forced moral policing of Sri Ram Sena, the collective known as Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women asked for volunteers all across the nation to deliver pink underwear to Sri Ram Sena Chief Pramod Muthalik as a sign of protest.
This resulted in over 2,000 pairs of underwear delivered at Muthalik’s doorstep in what came to be known as the Pink Chaddi Campaign. Muthalik eventually withdrew his former statements.
3. You’ve heard of snakes on a plane. Now get ready for snakes in a UP 'sarkari daftar'
A snake charmer simply known as Hakkul had petitioned the Uttar Pradesh government seeking a plot of land to conserve his snakes. With no responsive action on the petition and bribe demands, Hakkul grew so infuriated that he ended up unleashing his army of reptiles in a local tax office in Hariyya town in northern UP.
Over a hundred officials looked on in horror as the dozens of snakes slithered all over the place. Some managed to run out of the room while others helplessly clung on to chairs and tables. Hakkul’s soldiers also included some deadly cobras, so their reaction is understandable.
Amid all the chaos, Hakkul escaped and no updates were reported on the petition. Oh, Hakkul ran away without his snakes, giving a tough time to the state government to drive them away and catch them.
Moral of the story: Don’t mess with a snake charmer.
4. Fancy dress at the Parliament
The late actor-turned-politician N Sivaprasad served as an MP for Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor constituency for a decade from 2009 to 2019. However, more popular than his work as a parliamentarian was his numerous cosplays at the Lok Sabha.
Protesting against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh (out of which Telangana was born later), Sivaprasad notably dressed up in a sari, in Dr BR Ambedkar’s classic blue suit-look, religious attire as Shiva and Ram, and even in a school uniform.
The last one is perhaps his most meme-able disguise evoking laughter just from the visuals alone. Even more random is his reason behind it. Demanding Special Status for his native state in 2018, the Telugu Desam Party member said that he was dressed like a school kid to show how PM Narendra Modi was “the bad boy of the class”.
While Sivaprasad passed away in 2019 due to a kidney ailment, his fancy dresses would sure be missed at the Parliament!