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YouTube vs TikTok: A virtual mess in Kashmir leading to cyber bullying

Badrud Duja

Bilal Kashmiri, Mir Musaib, Kaits Salman are some of the social media junkies in Kashmir who by their unique frolics attract viewers and build up a subscriber base. And then there are YouTubers who roast these social media junkies to the extent that qualifies as cyber bullying and harassment. The roast videos on these people is effecting their state of mind to the extent that Bilal Kashmiri, one TikToker, even threatened to commit suicide. And it’s not funny. In a society which is deeply rooted into culture, customs and faith, YouTube roasting is a shocking development embedded into criticism and ridicule. YouTubers like Bakus, Khjil Zaidi, Wani Mubashir and others intend to increase their subscriber base by making fun of TikTokers. For their YouTube views they are intentionally creating animosity, divide and hate among Kashmiri TikTok, YouTube and Facebook users.

It is in place to mention that any unproductive activity either on TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube is just a waste of time and one’s capabilities. However, the trend to upload absurd videos on these channels to attract ridicule from people is fast turning into a huge social problem. It is an ever-increasing vortex of mostly illogical content followed by more illogical roasting and criticism.

Kashmiri TikToker Mir Musaib and Instagramer Kaits Salman are facing the same challenges, receiving hate and violent comments. This duo claims to entertain people on TikTok and Instagram, but it is just their odd and deliberate attempt to look funny at the cost of their personal esteem that makes them prey to YouTube roasting which is too harsh, malicious and even vulgar at some point. One recent casualty of such roasting is Bilal Kashmiri.

Bilal Kashmiri is a popular name among TikTok users of Kashmir. Known for his breakdance skills, however awkward they may be, he still has got a good number of TikTok subscribers. Lately he has been uploading videos on hateful and violent comments which he has been receiving from users because a YouTuber by the name of Bakus has been making roast videos on his dance and accent. Three Roast videos on Bilal Kashmiri outrageously titled ‘Double Mirgilad Mareez’, ‘Bilal Dar The Mirgi Show’, and ‘Mirgilad Dancer Bilal Dar’ have been uploaded on YouTube by Bakus.

Following Bakus, multiple Kashmiri YouTubers too have uploaded roast videos making fun of Bilal Kashmiri. It is a typical Kashmiri rat race where everyone wants to become a YouTuber now.

In response, Bilal Kashmiri has uploaded numerous videos asking Bakus to stop roasting him as the videos contain language which instigating users to hate Bilal. He has also threatened to commit suicide if roast videos aren’t stopped. In another video he asked users to boycott such videos as his permission wasn’t sought by Bakus and he is not taking such roasting in good taste. He has requested viewers to take action against him as Bakus, according to Bilal, is not creating content but criticising people.

Another Kashmiri YouTuber Wani Mubashir has been roasting Kashmiri TikTok girls and boys and accusing them of “ruining our paradise” by uploading TikTok videos. How can TikTok boys and girls ruin Kashmir? In fact, it is years of conflict, corruption, and environmental degradation that have ruined Kashmir not a bunch of TikTok users.

Birth of Roast comedy in India

AIB, a former Mumbai based comedy group with the YouTube channel were arguably the first YouTubers to take roasting to a whole different level in India.

AIB started uploading sketches to YouTube in February 2013. Their first series, AIB 365, used mimicry and other comic devices. In April 2013, they created a spoof of Bollywood award shows, Royal Turds, and performed it live for over a year. In September 2013, their sketch It’s Your Fault went viral. It was a satirical take on the Indian patriarchal mindset of victim blaming.

During this period, comics Karunesh Talwar and Abish Matthew were frequent collaborators. In December 2014, they performed and filmed the AIB Knockout (a celebrity roast) at the NSCI Dome in Worli. Karan Johar was the host with roasters AIB, Rajeev Masand, Raghu Ram, Aditi Mittal and Abish Matthew. Bollywood celebrities Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor were roasted. The show was uploaded on YouTube and subsequently removed from its channel because of widespread public backlash. AIB apologized.

They followed it up with more YouTube videos which broke records of viewership in India but attracted widespread criticism for their language which was considered vulgar and filthy.

This was the beginning of roast comedy in India through YouTube.

The celebrities they roasted were present on the occasion, they agreed to get roasted and were enjoying AIBs roast against them.

But that’s not the case in Kashmir. Kashmiri Roasters on YouTube like Bakus are doing the opposite to what is to be done. They may be inspired by famous YouTuber Carryminati but even his roast videos were removed due to their vulgar content.

If you watch roast videos of Bakus against Bilal Kashmiri, they are disturbing. For YouTube views, these so-called roasters are indulging in cyber harassment and cyber bullying. When you make fun of someone’s accent, body size, mental condition, language, it is not entertainment. It is harassment, cyber bullying, sexism and one doing it is actually indulging in a criminal act.

The author is a law student in Kashmir. Views expressed are his personal. Feedback at [email protected]