HomeTRENDINGWhat exactly is the "pajeet" meme on 4chan? : outoftheloop

What exactly is the "pajeet" meme on 4chan? : outoftheloop

12:32, 22/03/2021

If you are a fan of memes, và are fairly active on social media, chances are you have come across a series of Instagram screenshots featuring Sanjay, a teenager & Durgesh,an elderly man,in the last couple of days. Without the absurd và dark captions— which turned their pictures inkhổng lồ a popular meme — theirphotosdon’t mean much.

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My favourite Instagram trương mục pic.twitter.com/r1bFklRmDx

— Yugi"hoe (
pbthegrea) October 26, 2017

F*CKING durgesh has done it again pic.twitter.com/qogsTu8oN0

— Wolf - FUT Trader (
WolfOfFUTStreet) October 28, 2017

Someone – perhaps we shall never find out who, thanks lớn anonymity on the internet – created a kind of story with these Instagram screenshots. It was the tale of a teenager who would keep on falling for the catfishing (where one pretends khổng lồ be someone else on social media particularly to lớn pursue deceptive sầu online romances)accounts run by the same person. This teenager, at some point, gottired và tried lớn fight this catfish, but ultimately retreated with a blachồng eye!

An absurd story, but somehow it managed khổng lồ strike a chord & resulted inmeme after meme – the usual.

The problem with a meme like this, which uses the photos of ordinary people, & not a celebrity, a sportsperson, a politician or a fictional character, is that the person being meme’d is likely to chance upon these images. This is where this absurd meme took a dark turn.

On October 28, Sudhanshu Pandey, a student from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh posted the other side of this story on his Facebook tài khoản. Heclaims he is the brother of Durgesh, a 16-year-old student from Varanasi mê, who became "Sanjay" in the memes, & the elderly man who catfishes him — "Durgesh" in the memes — is his 51-year-old father Sanjay, supposedly a government officialwho hasundergone two brain surgeries. Sudhanshusays that the elderly manis physically disabled.

Speaking khổng lồ Storypick, Sudhanshu said, “He is not inlớn memes. His friends told me that he is not one to lớn have sầu enemies. The whole family is shocked as to why someone would bởi such a thing to Durgesh. But it’s heart-breaking lớn see my brother lượt thích this. I was the first one to lớn inkhung hyên about all this. And the first thing which I heard from hyên was, ‘Maine kiđắm đuối ka kya bigadomain authority he, mere saath aisa kyu ho raha he? (What have I ever done lớn anyone, why is this happening to lớn me?)’”

The problem

Of the hundreds of thousands of regularly evolving và forever changing memes, there are some telltale problematic consistencies. Some memes are funny only because of how orientalism plays out: for instance, they aregross exaggerations & distortions of how the West sees Indians. In these memes, Indians are always sexually deprived và depraved, và, of course, they struggle with English.

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The subreddit called “Indian People Facebook” is a manifestation of these two ideas. Most of the photos you find onit are either badly phtoshopped images of Indian teens with generic “deep” one-liners written in nauseatingly colourful WordArt or screenshots of conversations, most likely what you would find in the “Others” folder of your Facebook messenger.

Can Indian men be creepy? Yes. Can Indians have badly photoshopped photos with tacky captions? Yes. Is that what every Indian is? No.

In the age of the mạng internet, Indians are no longer snake-charmers, elephant-riders and black-magic-savvy. This new age orientalism has turned all Indians inkhổng lồ creeps with a bad comm& over the English language – which is ironic, given how another raging racial stereotype (with some truth) for Indians is how they are all call-centre employees trying to lớn sell Americans AT&T plans.

The problem of perception, sadly, is not limited to lớn the West. The privileged Indian too laughs at this orientacác mục humour. It may be urban elitism, class privilege or just plain ignorance, but thousands of Indians have sầu been happily complicit in the spread of memes lượt thích “bobs and vegana” & the racially offensive meme born in 4chan called “Pajeet/poo in the loo/designated shitting streets”.

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For Durgesh & his father Sanjay, this bad meme may just be a bad episode thatwill be overin a few weeks at most – memes vày have a short lifespan. But for all of us, it should be a reminder of the toxic culture of humour that is a result of both class và racial privilege.

Is this really the best we can do?

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