Who is John Oliver and why his video on PM Modi’s ‘war rukwa di papa’ ad is all over the Internet?

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A day before the Lok Sabha polls 2024 results day, a video of the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver broke the Internet. Oliver’s satirical take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted an advertisement by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), featuring a young girl claiming PM Modi stopped the still ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, saying, “War rukwa di papa (He stopped the war, father).” The episode also discussed visuals from PM Modi’s interviews with several journalists.

The episode, titled Indian Elections, Trump & Red Lobster, is expected to be available on Indian YouTube on Thursday. “I don’t know if this episode is definitely not going to end up airing in India, depending on what they do with the laws around YouTube. If you have friends and family living in India who would like to see it, just encourage them to visit these sites,” Oliver said in the viral video.

Who is John Oliver?

Best known for his investigative journalism, John Oliver is a British comedian, political commentator, and television host. He began his career as a stand-up comedian in the United Kingdom, however, gained recognition for his work in the United States as Senior British Correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from 2006 to 2013.

Oliver bagged three Primetime Emmy Awards for writing for The Daily Show, following which he became the guest host for eight weeks in 2013. He has hosted the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver since 2014.

In a career spanning over two decades, Oliver won 16 Emmy Awards and 2 Peabody awards, and was described by Time magazine as a ‘comedic agent of change… powerful because he isn’t afraid to tackle important issues thoughtfully, without fear or apology’.

n his viral video, Oliver also cites the construction of the Ram temple on the ruins of the demolished Babri mosque, which is considered a significant achievement of the Modi government. He also points to the mob lynching of Muslims and the ‘bulldozer justice’. To highlight his point, Oliver plays a song titled Jeet gaya Baba bulldozer-wala (the bulldozer-baba has won).’

War rukwa di papa

In April, BJP released an ad campaign that showed a student girl returning from Ukraine telling her father that PM Modi managed to stop the war there to rescue stranded Indian students. Social media couldn’t stop buzzing after the ad campaign went viral. The claims by the student in the ad had triggered a meme fest.

India Time Lines

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