Open either Instagram or Twitter, one thing that remains constant is the running commentary on the Russia- Ukraine war; and more than words, it is memes that are speaking.

Dark humour or dark comedy is a style of comedy that makes light of subject matter that is generally considered taboo, particularly subjects that are normally considered serious or painful to discuss. In this modern age where social media occupies our every living and breathing moment, it would be completely absurd to think that dark humour doesn’t leave its footprints in the social media world. Every time the world is going through a crisis or a tragedy, it feels like someone goes ahead and shouts “Social media assemble”, flooding everything— from Instagram to TikTok (or its counterparts in the case of India), Facebook to Twitter— with tweets, posts, and stories.


Everyone, ranging from the common people to official accounts of nations, end up jumping on this bandwagon, trying to put forward their own point of views and critiques. But more often than not, this ends up taking the form of internet’s most common currency of conversation, memes. Memes about World War 3, about being drafted for the war, about the inaction on the part of NATO and the UN, all ended up making rounds in the recent past. Some of them are still being reshared, while new memes keep coming up every hour of every day.



These memes tend to usually (always) carry an underlying tone of humour— a sort of romanticisation of tragedy and misery, maybe even a humanisation of these atrocities.

But does this joke-making and meme-sharing indicate a general apathy amongst the people of the world? Or does it only point towards a “Gen-Z urge” to use humour as a coping mechanism?


(Part of the meme response is about) glorifying the war for sure, but also not realising what war really is and what it means. So, dealing with in a laissez-faire kind of way.”

Says Dr. Saleem Alhabash, a professor at the media psychology department, Michigan State University.


The world of social media comes with pros of its own, one of the most obvious being that there is barely any consequence to your actions. This means that people from around the world get a green card to give out their opinions (and not necessarily opinions that are empathetic or even sympathetic, or opinions that are put forward in an acceptable way), leaving social media to become a space that is shadowed and claw-marked by a general dehumanisation of humanity, something that rarely gets appreciated by those living the reality you end up making jokes about.


In all this conversation about making dark humour and using humour as a coping mechanism okay, there is one clear unsaid understanding, a clear demarcation, that making jokes on a tragedy is only acceptable when these jokes are made by someone who actually has the right and authority to do so (morally-speaking). Thus, the so-called “gallows humour” only works if you are the person facing the gallows; otherwise, it is just a callous and pathetic attempt to infringe and capitalise (in the form of fame) on someone else’s misery.


But maybe this indifference is not even indifference in its truest form; maybe it is just an outcome of the constant influx of information on social media and our constant scrolling, that we never get the chance to sit, stop, and actually listen. To pull at our heartstrings, anything needs a moment; social media just doesn’t let it have one.

So, does that mean that “crisis meme-making” is an embodiment of all things evil? Not really. Although these memes are a creation of the people, they are also just a reflection of reality (to some extent atleast). 

So, when we look at how ubiquitous these memes are in the modern world, we also need to consider how they might just be the reflection of a common identity, fear, or anxiety; how they might just be creating a world community; how they might just be threading together all these numerous different lives, leaving none of us to feel alone.


Read also ‘Doomscrolling: The Addiction of the 2020s


Feature Image Credits: Digital TV Europe


Manasvi Kadian

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Are we guilty of furthering new stereotypes whilst breaking others? This piece aims to scrutinise the methodology that we succumb to, during deconstructing stereotypes and consequently ending up reinforcing them in other forms.

When someone sets to dilute a certain form of stigma or stereotype, and alights to stimulate another form of it, their arguments and causes stand contradictory, and their motives, hypocritical. Although it is mainly unconscious, but aren’t we against the set narrative of the very notion that constitutes becoming an unconscious state of the mind, in the first place?

It is well-established that it’s really hard to counter narratives which are already set and accepted as norm, to begin with. The standardisation of beauty is one such example. Obsessed with a certain body type, people find themselves ensnared in insecurities to suit the needs of what the society deems to be perfect. However while supporting and accepting your own body type if someone finds for themselves to actually have a certain other body type which is not their ‘natural orientation’ but because they want to and not for the eyes of society, would it be justified to call them out for this? If owning up to who we truly are and what we really want to be is the goal, then why should one be recipient of flak for doing whatever and chosing however to live with their bodies? It’s rather complex to decipher why people undergo surgeries or put on makeup or edit their pictures. It might be out of low self esteem or it might not be. It’s not default and rigid to look a certain way, with or without filters, so how can we stand judge of a person’s intention about themselves?

Another instance, is the notion of colour and representation. Colours are major contributors towards highlighting a certain symbolic message, like that of the national flag or traffic lights. An age old battle is that of the blue versus pink debacle, which is in association to that concept of gender which reeks of heteronormativity. While fighting this stereotype we often degrade the colour pink and shift focus from disassociation of colors with gender to superiority of a preferred colour and inferiority of another. Pink is a colour and anyone including the female population has the liberty to like it and embrace it without having to fear the judgements which generally follow.

Amidst the ongoing Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) debates, people have called out the government, but the line of reasoning can be questionable at times. Saying that an ‘uneducated, illiterate, chaiwala’ can’t run the nation is not enough and highly classist and in disdain of the working class culture. Instead, problematic aspects of fascism, tyranny and communalism should form the basis for protesting and not the status of birth or class of work. Few forget that the Constitution of India gives the right to any individual irrespective of class, caste, gender or religion to contest in elections and serve in politics. It’s ignorant to make such remarks where one seems to be fighting the battle of inclusivity on the line of exclusion itself.

It would be ideal if we could exercise sensitivity while raising concerns. Whatever we say might offend someone but that shouldn’t stop us from speaking, it should also not, in turn, stop us from employing a critical approach in terms of what forms the basis of our arguments while fighting stereotypes. Let us foster an environment which allows us to live unapologetically, just as we are, while being respectful of others as they do the same.

Feature Image Credits: Pinterest 

Umaima Khanam

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The third day of 1971 India Pakistan War marked some extraordinary efforts by the jawans & mahilas of our nation, this story of Bhuj airport often slips below the pages of history and today it’s recapitulation gets extremely essential. 

Ever since the great political upheaval of the division of erstwhile British India in 1947 resulted into the creation of Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the two nations have endured a great sense of acrimony that has garnered international recognition and massive surveillance of the two on each other’s activities. The two nations have an age-long history of skirmishes and the second edition of this tussle was witnessed in 1971 amidst the Bangladesh Liberation War.

The 1971 Indo Pakistan War was significant in many ways, be it as the largest military surrender after World War II; as one of the shortest wars of history or the first of a kind that resulted in a nation-state on the basis of language. The 1971 war was perhaps the first time when all three Indian forces fought together and once again provided testimony for the greatness of our defense administration. 

With the leadership of someone like Army Chief Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw, the Indian Defense has a long list of valiant heroes whose stories have become an inevitable part of our lives. The 1971 war was no different and gave us some great war heroes that we can cherish all the more (seemingly ignoring the horrors and bloodshed that war endures, the cataclysmic effects are not to be discussed here). One such hero was Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik & the women of the Village of Bhuj.

It’s 8th December, two days since the war has found the bugle; both the belligerents have employed their best to retaliate one another, when fourteen Napalm Bombs were dropped from a squadron of Sabre Jets at the Indian Air Force Strip at Bhuj, Gujarat. The attack stripped the runway in bits and hence useless for the air force commandment. 

The Border Security Force who is normally entrusted with the responsibility in such cases was already engaged on the field, squadron leader Vijay Karnik with 50 IAF and 60 Defense Security Corps personnel were amidst an unpleasant state when local villagers from the village of Madhapur, Bhuj took the responsibility of repairing the airstrip and within the next 72 hours completed the assigned task. 

What is significant about this event apart from the short duration in which it was achieved, is the will and dedication of 300 amateur villagers who are clouded with the state of war and most of them were women. Yes, the mahila shakti was the force behind the army’s successful campaign. After the sarpanch, Jadhavjibhai Hirani asked the villagers for support, the village women wholeheartedly volunteered for the almost impossible task and did it within 72 hours, without thinking much about their lives they did their job continually someday without food and water away from their homes and family. The officers also had to take care of their security and ensure that the operation is carried without any casualty, this was ultimately achieved and was celebrated on 11th August at 4 pm when the first combat aircraft took from the airstrip successfully. 

Three years later the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi did offer gifts to these women, they humbly turned it down saying, “What we did was for our country.”

A war memorial called Virangana Smarak made under the aegis of the Central government was dedicated at Madhapur village of Bhuj in 2018 to commemorate the brave deed that the residents did for the sake of their country. This story will also be told again on the celluloid with Ajay Devgn in the lead role in ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’

This anniversary of the 1971 war we salute the heroes and the heroines of the war and thank them for their service. 

Faizan Salik

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Image Credits: thebetterindia.com

Image Caption: The Women of Bhuj 1971 at Virangana Smarak

While the nation cries for war, what happens to the families left behind? Read a Defence kid’s perspective on coping, loss, and war, in lieu of the Pulwama violence.

When I try to recall early memories of my mother, I can remember that my mother was 27 years old when she had to single-handedly take care of one child who cried a lot, and another who ran away a lot. All this time my father, serving in the Indian Navy, was often away sailing for months. I was four when the place my father was posted in got hit by an earthquake, and my mother had to care for us while my father was away protecting other families hit by the disaster.

Despite all this, I am one of the most privileged children. While the news of the Pulwama attack enraged many, and talks about ‘revenge’ and counterattacks began, newspapers almost immediately dug out stories of their families. While Thaka Belkar was one of the lucky ones, who got out of the bus which was hit because his leave was sanctioned at the last minute, this was not the fate several others met with. Rohitash Lamba, one of the men who lost their lives, left his two-yearold behind at an age too young to understand the notions of politics and warfare. Only a year after his marriage, Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhondiyal was killed in Pulwama. Constable Kulwinder Singh, the sole child and breadwinner of his family, also did not return home. A thousand tears, forty-four families, and the love for one nation; these are stories of valour and the uniform they wear.

Being a Defence child, I have lived in the best places with the best facilities. Having seen from a young age how my father had to stay away, how he lived the same life when my grandfather, in the Indian Army, was posted in the smallest of regions, I have known that this sacrifice is incomparable to the sacrifices of many others. The Pulwama attack is devastating for the families of the martyrs who will now have to live away from them forever. Garima Abrol, the wife of Martyr squadron leader Samir Abrol of the Indian Air Force asked the nation in a post shared on Instagram- “How many more pilots have to give up their life to shake you up and make you realise there is something really wrong in the system? A pilot is not made in a day, it takes a decade of training for their souls to get moulded for the job… I need answers.”

The Pulwama attack has stirred the nation, but the politicisation of this issue for benefits to accrue in the elections is saddening. While the fingers of the families of these jawans wipe their tears, others’ only point at the ‘anti-nationalist’. We are proud to belong to Defence families. We are proud to have our parents working for the country, and love for the country holds a different meaning to us than it does to many. We demand justice. We do not demand bloodshed, and a war destructive to humanity.

Feature Image Credits: Defence Lover

Shivani Dadhwal

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