By Vritti Gandhi,
All India Bakchod, a group of stand-up comedians, recently released the (first of its kind in India) video of them roasting actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor that went viral and successfully garnered about 8 million views. That is, after they took it down because it became the new controversy doing the rounds following a government probe for using vulgar language.
However, was that not to be expected?
Whether or not people found it comical or crass is a matter of opinions. Even so, it was all in good humor.
The same cannot be said for Censor Board member Mr. Ashok Pandite‘s comment targeting Karan Johar and his mother that followed. It was crass, it was offensive, and it was not in good humor. Ever heard of practicing what you preach, Mr. Pandite?
AIB has since tweeted a letter that has been doing the rounds on various social networking sites, and may I say, kudos to them.
In a nation where intolerance (be it religious, political or of any kind) is prevalent, this issue has been much spoken against. However, we are just walking around in circles. Messenger of God, P.K, Haider are some recent examples of the movies that have flared debates. The ‘freedom of speech’ that has been guaranteed by the Constitution of India, is not something to be simply skipped over, to be questioned every time some creative, different artist exercises it with some unique work of his/her! Criticize their work all you want, but do not cross the line and make it a national issue.
As long as this fundamental right does not border on defamation of character, the law is not being violated. Does this roast by AIB constitute defamation, though?
I do not believe it does, definitely not when the people being made fun of were present right there and were sporting about it. I had watched the knockout a few days back, and I apologize AIB, I did not find it amusing. Nonetheless, if there was one thing I was really very glad about was the fact that people were finally being able to laugh at jokes about themselves, and for sometime I thought that India had finally reached a place where tolerance did not seem like an unachievable aim. Lo and behold! I could not have been more wrong.
We are all humans with different opinions who co-exist. There are bound to be individual disagreements. What has to be realized, however, is that these individual opinions cannot and should not become state or national opinions merely because of the authority and power that the law and policy makers possess.
Vritti Gandhi is a second year Economics student at the Shri Ram College of Commerce. She enjoys being her eccentric self, astrology is her first love, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S is her way of life. Having co-founded a chapter of an NGO in her college, she strongly wills to highlight the importance of self-sustenance. She is presently looking for her passion, hoping to light up others’ lives and leaving her own mark in this world.
Edited by Nandita Singh