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Age Debate: Tasteless humour

Published : Jun 2, 2016, 1:36 am IST
Updated : Jun 2, 2016, 1:36 am IST

I’m tired of this debate. Over the last 24 hours I’ve received tonnes and tonnes of support for India’s young comedy scene.

Sorabh Pant
 Sorabh Pant

I’m tired of this debate. Over the last 24 hours I’ve received tonnes and tonnes of support for India’s young comedy scene. And, on the other end, I’ve received a few threats, abuses, insults and hate mails. I look at the first part because, like an idiot, I always have hope for my country.

India has myriad cultures, traditions and opinions. Different people saying what they think is India. Different pop culture references. Someone consumes Houseful 3’s crass humour or Kapil Sharma’s sometimes sexism and some consume English comedy. The twain do not need to meet. I don’t enjoy some humour — I don’t consume them. Going out of your way to consume something just so you can threaten the person that created the work does not make you smart — it makes you a little bit stupid.

I didn’t like the silly Snapchat joke, I stopped watching it in four seconds. Maybe you could too. It was juvenile, silly and maybe lacked taste. Which sometimes is the very purpose of comedy. And, again not all comedy — some comedy. Let’s not do what people have been doing for the last two days, i.e. saying that this is all every English comedian does.

Again, there is nothing wrong with commenting, trolling and debating about any video. That’s what makes this a democracy. But pushing out abuse, threats and saying “we will not let him perform anywhere in India”, as our friends from one of India’s Senas suggested they would do — that’s not democracy, it’s goondaism.

Two things I’d like to mention: all Indian comedy is not this. Some of it is. And that’s absolutely fine. Over the last few months — Indian comedians have tried to step up with our social responsibility in small, tiny ways — whether it is doing shows for charity, raising money for athletes and farmers or for flood relief; or much, much more. Maybe a news story on that wouldn’t get TRPs, but maybe it’s a news story worth doing.

The marvellous Sachin Tendulkar’s Sharjah knock has not been repealed from history. Latadi’s songs have not been deleted from our memory. Their status remains remarkably untouched by a silly little video.

I’d like to end by quoting Latadi, who said: “I have not seen the video. I have no inclination to see the video. I will not comment.” This is what makes her a legend. She’s always been — and remains — a classy lady with poise. Possibly a lesson for people “supporting” a lady who doesn’t need such support.

Sorabh Pant is a stand-up comedian

$ Sachin, Lata too great to be affected

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Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar are recipients of the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. They are well known and respected personalities in the world. They have done the best work in their respective fields. Now Tanmay Bhat, who is not even known in the entertainment industry, has come up with a video criticising them. We have found it was not criticism but insult of these personalities. He should be booked for sedition and arrested immediately for insulting Bharat Ratna awardees. No one can say anything against such eminent personalities under the guise of freedom of speech. Bhat has tweeted that the spoof on Latadi and Sachin was banter. I would like to ask if he would say the similar things about his parents He will not make a similar video on his parents.

Only an apology will not work. We are pressing the police to take action against him and arrest him. He should be taught a lesson, else he will continue with cheap methods. This is not the first time that Bhat has tried to humiliate a big personality. Earlier, he had made a spoof on Balasaheb Thackeray, which was in very bad taste. If not checked, he will keep insulting people, including our soldiers and national leaders. We will not tolerate the insult of our leaders from someone like Bhat.

We have to respect dignified personalities because they have contributed a lot to the country and society. Bhat is just trying to gain cheap publicity from this video. If you want to become popular then work hard in your field, but throwing mud at big names will never make you popular. It’s a dangerous trend because he might inspire others to do the same to gain publicity.

We respect freedom of speech, but not like this. How can you enjoy freedom of speech by insulting or humiliating others Latadi and Sachin are renowned and respected people. The AIB is supposed to be a comedy show. But where is the humour in this video on Latadi and Sachin He says that she should die and that her face is like someone has kept it in water for days. Do you find it funny

We will not allow any show by Bhat to be aired from now if no action is taken against him. We are requesting the police repeatedly to take action against him. If action is not taken against him immediately, then we will teach him a lesson so that he will never dare to do it again.

Ameya Khopkar is president, Cine Wing, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena

$ Bhat is trying to gain cheap publicity