TikTok and Indian Society

An online course conducted by Amit Varma. Registrations for the June 24 batch are closed. Fill this form to express interest in future batches.

I have a love-hate relationship with TikTok. I hate it because it is so addictive, and takes up large chunks of my time. I love it because it reveals so much about India.

In the last couple of years, TikTok has reached every corner of our country. It has empowered millions of people in multiple ways. Anyone with a smartphone can make her own videos. You are your own Mani Ratnam or Zoya Akhtar.

It has also given people access to entertainment that reflects their lives, and is not the product of big-city elites who do not know the real India. Like the folks in Bollywood, for example.

I don’t think the world has seen anything like this before. Millions of people who were on the margins of entertainment now have both a voice and a platform. And the Invisible India is no longer Unseen – it is in your mobile phone, and all you need to do to go deeper is scroll.

I have spent hundreds of hours watching TikTok, making notes, and thinking about the themes that emerge. I want to share my learnings and impressions with you. Welcome to TikTok and India Society.

TikTok and Indian Society is a course conducted by me on Whatsapp. I’m charging Rs 5000 + GST for this course. If you sign up, your number will be added to a Whatsapp group in which only I will be allowed to post. And when the course begins, I will speak about different themes, one chapter a day. Each chapter will be accompanied by dozens of videos that illustrate my theme.

Here’s my table of contents:

  1. ‘Karda Karda!’
  2. The New Romantics
  3. The Pundits of Pun
  4. We Are All Memesaabs
  5. With the Times (and the Virus)
  6. If You Ain’t Got Nothin’
  7. Looking Out, Looking In
  8. What We Gained… And What We Have Lost

In my course, I will show how TikTok should give us cause for both hope and despair. It reflects the worst of India, things we already know, like the pervasive sexism and the normalisation of casual violence. But it also shows trends we may have missed, such as the increasing assertion by women of their individuality and sexuality. We will see dissent and satire, romance and rage, the heartbreaking and the heartening.

We will also be entertained.

I am conducting this course on Whatsapp because I need to show you hundreds of vertical videos, and traditional ways of teaching like Zoom or YouTube don’t fit the bill. Also, after making fun of Whatsapp University for years, it’s time to show how it’s done. No?

What will you get if you sign up for this course? Well, to begin with, hundreds of videos curated around specific themes, made by and starring some of the most talented people in this country. On top of that, whatever insights I have gathered, as best as I can organise them. Plus, you will get to be part of the world’s first Whatsapp course, and maybe even the world’s first course on TikTok. Join me!

The fees are Rs 5000+GST, for a total of Rs 5900.

Registrations for the  June 24 batch are now closed. Please fill this form to express interest in future batches.