Seems like history has ceased to be boring, particularly when fictionalised. That’s what the page, Honest Indian Histories has been playing with since earlier this year. At times, Arvind Kejriwal turns into Joseph Stalin and on other occasions, a brawl between police and activists turns into dandiya, with imaginative captions. Already, the page has over 9,000 followers. Extracts from a chat with co-founder, Raya Sarkar.
Dancers during Navratri seen playing dandiya at the Raas Garba event where Phalguni Pathak performed for Rs 50 lakh lower than her usual fee. (Ghatkopar, 2015)
Q.Tell us about your team and how the idea was conceived.
A. Honest Indian Histories was conceived in early 2016. This is an ethnographic project where we attempt to display Indian history through a narrative of satire using pictures and captions accompanying them. Our satire ranges from dark humour to slapstick — we experiment with all sub genres. Our intention is to appreciate the absurdity of politics and current affairs and to make people laugh. This page is where we unleash our imagination and show others how simple photos can be interpreted in hilarious ways — it is therapeutic. Some who follow the page also add captioned interpretations in the comments. My co-founder Anshul Sharma and I are both 23-year-old Dilliwallahs. Anshul is a banker and I am a lawyer.
Indian National Congress after the Election verdict in Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. (May 2016)
Q.What is its guiding principle?
A. Our guiding principle is to not spare anyone. We mock whoever we feel is deserving of mockery. However, we are sensitive to homophobia, racism, sexism, misogyny, anti-religious sentiments, and casteism. We neither want to be bullies nor position our punchlines on someone else’s suffering.
Q. Do you have any political positions or are all sides open for your captions?
A. We humour everyone, including ourselves. We do not intend to project our personal political bias on the content of the page. We also post about pop culture and non-political current affairs.
Q. Will the page move to other platforms?
A. Initially, when people read my posts, they assumed it had been made by a man. So, I began posting my photos and introducing myself as the admin. Our page should encourage women to pursue comedy and satire. I hope it breaks gender stereotypes through example — that women can be witty and sharp. Anshul is an excellent comic and we entertain each other with our posts. So far, we are on Facebook but if people suggest other platforms — we’re game.
LOG ON TO: www.facebook.com/RealHistoryPics/