The meme culture, be it light hearted fun or targetted bullying, spares none. An example of this was recently seen when people trolled The Great Khali on his Instagram posts
The internet needs new memes everyday. Sometimes satirical, sometimes poking fun and well, sometimes senseless. This time, however, Dalip Singh Rana, aka The Great Khali was the subject of the meme that took the internet by storm.
Like all memes it became a trend nobody knows how. Memes always have some mysterious beginning and ending. Their sudden success is a fad, then they disappear in the world of the internet.
If we check the comment box of Khali’s instagram — it is replete with bizarre comments. Sir Undertaker Ko Utha Ke Uppertaker Kar Do (sir lift undertaker, and make him uppertaker Sir ji apni beard se meri peet khujla do (sir scratch my back from your beard. These were some of the hilarious and bizarre comments.
It seems his followers have made him a cult, and a reason for that is his genuine way of posting things. That’s why his comment box looks decent in hindsight.
People are making strange comments on his physical appearance, body strength. But that too has some antencedece. Do you remember Sabu from Comic Chacha choudhry. This comical character was attached to body strength, who always prioritised strength over applying mind. While Chacha Choudhry was smart and witty. Similarly, in a TV serial CID, the character of Daya, who had a fancy for breaking gates.
We often attach body strength in a comical sense. The reason is the extraordinary physique looks quite alien to people, like the character Hulk. It is very easy to draw a comical sense by his conduct. And Khali fits well with the same idea.
Scientists believe that characters with super bodies, like extra height, big muscles get extra attention because normal humans are not capable of getting them. That’s because Khali gets attention.
But, are these comments body shaming? That is an interesting question and requires careful demarcation. If one reads these comments, they seem to be crossing boundaries. Trend of joking about Khali’s physique is so much so that he has to disable his comments for a few of his posts.
Renee Engeln, a Northwestern psychology professor and the director of the university’s Body and Media Lab, told CNN that in the age of the internet, everyone has become commentator, “There used to be a class of people who had to worry all the time about how they looked, because it was their job,” she said. “Now we don’t really have a front line between those people and everyone else.”
In our time, when people take so many of their pictures and post them on social media, comments like these can make someone uncomfortable.
Khali, so far, took these comments in good sport and retorted in a promotional video. He answered some of these few comments on his posts like a person asked Khali to land an airplane on the forehead. Khali said “Mere ya tere? (Mine or yours).” Another user asked him to separate Hydrogen from Oxygen in water. To this Khali retorted , “Phelewaan hun main, scientist nahin hun main (I’m a wrestler not a scientist).”
Born as Dalip Singh Rana in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, Khali started from a humble background. He joined Punjab police in 1993, and started training for wrestling, soon he went to the United State for training in professional wrestling.
He first joined All Pro wrestling in 2000, but when he joined WWE in 2006, he became a sensation, as WWE wrestling is hugely popular in India. And when people noticed that an Indian wrestler is taking down other wrestlers like Undertaker, Ray misterio, Batista, he became hugely popular.
His uniqueness — the way he speaks, the way he appears in public, has always had a comical tinge. Now it has become a full blown cult for his followers, a comical cult. And Khali, the centre of it, is the “leader”.
How would it shape that we will see in future. But as of now it looks just like a meme fad. And as always happens “From nagarpalika guy” to “Pawry ho ri hai ” memes, they become a fad, then vanish in thin air. Now Khali is fad. How funny the quotient is in it, depends a lot on how you see it. Because oftentime there is a thin line between being funny or bullying. And when it comes to the internet the lines are blurred to the extent that poking fun can fast become bullying.