Right-Wing Trolls Tried to Cancel This Rapper. Now MC Kode Is Missing in India.

The 22-year-old rapper’s friends were alarmed by his most recent social media posts.
Pallavi Pundir
Jakarta, ID
rapper, missing, mental health, india, right wing, cancel culture
MC Kode’s friends call him an inspiration in the rap scene in India. Photo: Anurag Shari

The sudden disappearance of a 22-year-old Indian rapper has triggered a panicked search and heated discussions on the mental health impact of cancel culture.

On June 2, the rapper Aditya Tiwari, who goes by the stage name MC Kode, posted an alarming yet vague story that was widely circulated on social media. He apologised for his “selfish actions” and admitted to “suffering” without giving any specific details. 


Kode, who is part of India’s growing hip-hop scene and is often seen in viral battle raps, received death threats earlier this week over an old video from 2016 that resurfaced. In it, the then largely unknown 16-year-old rapped about masturbating on the revered ancient Hindu text the Mahabharata. 

As critics piled on, Kode wrote on Instagram that he was “standing at an isolated bridge overlooking the Yamuna river where I could see the waves answering my distress call while giving me much needed perspective.”

In a statement, Kode’s friends and fellow rappers called the post a possible “suicide note” and alerted the police in the Indian capital New Delhi, where he lives. As hours raced by, supporters urged authorities to help find him.

“Kode has since apologised sincerely and has lost all sources of income as well as offers for work,” the statement from his friends also said, adding that he had been targeted by online mobs and extremists.

On Twitter, #Arrest_MC_Kode trended while others called for legal action or mob justice. One Twitter user offered INR 51,000 (about $700) for beating him up and sharing a video of it. 


Filmmaker Siddhant Shah from Delhi, who knows Kode personally and is helping with the search, told VICE World News that Kode’s mental health was shattered from the threats. “Despite what he said in that viral video, he has a good heart,” Shah said. “This was a planned attack that started with a meme page that wanted to troll him. A lot of what he said in the video is being taken out of context.”

Artists such as rappers and stand-up comics often face the ire of right-wing social media in India for content deemed anti-Hindu. In the past, artists have been doxxed and sent death or rape threats. 

A missing person report was filed with the Delhi Police on Friday. “We formed teams and searched all night and morning, including the spot he Instagrammed about,” said Shah. 

“We’re now hoping to track his phone with the help of the police.”

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