The viral video is fast becoming a tool for social change, especially in nations which seem to have a conservative social mindset. Videos that critique archaic social values that continue to plague technologically and economically mobile countries have begun to flood the online space. With nearly 60% of Facebook users in India being below the age of 24, the online space has become the most appropriate channel for tongue-in-cheek social satire.
Videos like “It’s Your Fault” from Indian comedy collective All India Bakchod, is essentially a brazen F-U to the country’s political elite. The video, which, was produced in response to a spate of brutal rapes that shook the nation this past year, critiques the concept of victim blaming. Kalki Koechlin, a prominent Indian actress and Juhi Pande, a VJ for Channel [V], star in this powerful video, which also raises the important issue of marital rape. Raped by your husband? In India, that’s not a crime. If you’re married, you’re pretty much bound to say yes forever and that’s definitely a surefire way to guarantee a “happily ever after.”
Like “It’s Your Fault”, “No Woman No Drive” is the brainchild of a bunch of guys speaking out for women’s rights. It hit the internet earlier this week and is a “culture-specific rendition of Bob Marley’s timeless “No Woman No Cry”. The video, which already has almost 7 million YouTube views, is a response to the laws against women driving in Saudi Arabia.
Both videos are testament to the fact that social change and social media have more in common than just being the most bandied about words of our generation. In most cases, social media provides a space in which progressive ideas can run free without being shackled by backward tradition.