Writers, comedians and artists know must know by now that there a few things that are off limits. Some things in Indian pop culture just cannot be made fun of. Somewhere at the top of the list are Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar.
So obviously when Tanmay Bhat decided to take on both, he received a boatload of criticism. Obviously, he is not the only one to face flak for making fun of the great cricketer. A few years ago, Maria Sharapova, drew the ire of Indian cricket fans everywhere for not knowing who Sachin Tendulkar was.
Bhat, who is part of the All India Bakchod comedy group, has been using the video-sharing app Snapchat to disseminate his views, thoughts and opinions. Earlier this month, he released a video about feminism that went viral. The Times of India blogged to suggest Bhat was wrong, and he, in turn, shared a video the group had made calling out the newspaper for being sexist.
His latest video, titled Sachin vs Lata Civil War was made in the wake of recent news articles comparing Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. He also refers to a comment former cricketer Vinod Kambli has denied making, claiming Kohli is ten times better than Tendulkar.
Bhat's face-swapped Tendulkar solemnly tells viewers that he never gets angry and that Kohli is very talented but keeps losing his cool and shouts "Ph**k him" or "Kutriyaan (dog)". The face-swapped Mangeshkar responds, "I personally think Virat is a better batsman," drawing Tendulkar's ire: "You are 5,000 years old so please stay the ph**k out of this."
In anticipation of the reception the video might receive, the comedian put it out with a disclaimer: "I obviously love Sachin and Lata, just having fun."
Not everyone found all this funny, though. Here is a sample of tweets, with people like Aaditya Thackeray and Anupam Kher, the nine-time winner of Best Comic Actor, weighing in.