‘Untouchable’: Manjeet Sarkar’s comedy show that targets the oppressive nature of society.

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Manjeet Sarkar is a stand-up comedian, famous for his show ‘Untouchable’, and highly praised for the important themes he touches through his sets. From a small town and humble beginnings, Manjeet’s journey to success serves as a source of inspiration for others with circumstances and dreams like him.

Story: Avani Kulshreshtha

Edit: Nitya Kaimal

Born a Dalit in a small village in Chhattisgarh, Manjeet Sarkar is no stranger to society’s ruthless and baseless discrimination. From facing stone-pelting because he drank water from the local handpump to being made fun of in school because of his caste, he has seen it all.

Manjeet Sarkar’s journey from the dusty, conflict-ridden lanes of his village to the stages of India’s bustling comedy scene is nothing short of remarkable. From being one of the first graduates from his city to doing stand-up comedies at Harvard University as well as the United Nations, he is a representative of all those hard-working people who are pushed down by society because of belonging to a group that the society itself created. However, instead of letting these caste-based prejudices drive his life, he used them as fuel to motivate himself to rise above and use his talent to hold up a mirror to society.

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Manjeet believes that comedy is a form of art, and art itself is inherently political. Without ever speaking about politics explicitly, Sarkar subtly targets the politics of caste-discrimination. People don’t want to talk about it because it questions their authority. His matter-of-fact delivery style, noted by The Print as working like a spell, works like magic to make people just uncomfortable enough to make them think about society’s prejudice against the Dalits. In childhood, Sarkar used to be the object of derision and people would laugh at him. Now, he delivers the punchlines which make people laugh and earn him respect. He uses his ability of humour as a tool for social commentary. This trajectory truly is very motivating.

Manjeet Sarkar ( A Dalit stand up comedian )

The one thing that Manjeet hates is sympathy. According to him, that is “the cheapest philanthropy.” What he wants is for people to realise the problem, accept it, and work towards curbing those issues. For him, jokes based on his own life and real experiences are the most powerful because they reveal just how absurd and cruel societal norms can be. DeadAnt describes Sarkar’s use of humour as a mirror to society, highlighting the caste-based prejudices that persist. Sarkar’s experiences as a Dalit provide a raw and authentic perspective often missing in mainstream narratives.

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In a society that constantly sweeps difficult topics under the rug, Manjeet pushes his audience to think deeply, empathize, and confront uncomfortable truths. His comedy is a breath of fresh air in the stand-up comedy domain and has the power to inspire change. Born in a small village in India and being made to feel invisible, his voice now echoes throughout the country and even outside, pushing towards changing for the better. His story is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, one can rise above and bring change for the benefit of humanity.

*दलित टाइम्स उन करोड़ो लोगो की आवाज़ है जिन्हें हाशिए पर रखा गया है। *

महिला, दलित और आदिवासियों के मुद्दों पर केंद्रित पत्रकारिता करने और मुख्यधारा की मीडिया में इनका प्रतिनिधित्व करने के लिए हमें आर्थिक सहयोग करें।


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