For the oblivious minds, we’re a land of Santa-Banta jokes and crass sarcasm on Malyalis and Madrasis alike once they enter into the northern regions of their abode. We laugh at sexist jokes hysterically and dispose the ones who don’t giggle, in the pit labelled “feminazis”.
One of the eccentric features of a democracy is “freedom of speech”. And Salman Rushdie, had rightly stated once that without the “freedom to offend” there can be only partial exercise of “freedom of speech”.
From AIB celebrity roast show to Kiku Sharda’s arrest and to the recent Tanmay Bhat’s snapchat video, comedians in our nation have always received a lot of flak historically for exercising their “right to speech”. The balls to withstand loathsome remarks and even constructive criticism have been shrinking at an increasing rate. Where are we, as a nation heading to?
Perhaps, its time to publish primers on the acceptable subjects to joke about when in India and be included in school and college curriculum as well. Because when Russell Peters grossly interprets the Indian name “Hardik”, all Indians grin at the white man’s hilarity. But when Tanmay does the same then we’re divided because our idols become our Gods, and this is what adds to the woes. With all due respect to Sachin and Lata, we Indians should realize that we can praise people for their success and high stature without making Gods out of them.
And as Lata Di had recently quipped, “everyone has their right to speech and we shouldn’t be hurt by it. Even if it’s unpleasing these things are so miniscule that little can be derived out of such topics”.
There either shall be complete freedom and liberty among people to express themselves, irrespective of the population who counts offend in that, or there be none at all.
Unlike the artificial travesty that Tanmay engaged in, gross mockery is extremely rampant in the real world too. The only practical way to deal with it is to have balls of steel and a thick skin.
Raghuram Rajan had chirped in his “Fault lines” how he was treated with derision during the international summit which was attended by renowned economists and politicians of international repute when he rightfully predicted the incoming of a sub prime crisis in 2008. Needless to mention, his prophesies were held true to every blotching nerve. And, he continues to mention that, once you reach such high pinnacles of glory and materialistic attainment such onslaught flurries barely pinch you with a sigh. You acclimatize to them, and that my friend, is the only road to prosperous well being.