I think it gained momentum with Twitter, if not started, which provided a platform for common people to connect with celebrities. Generally, celebrities have oodles of fans who are devotedly self employed at applauding, admiring, congratulating and singing songs of glory for their icons. So adding another song to it wouldn’t have paid a penny hence few decided to try their hands on talking objectionable about them. Using degenerating language for celebrities and demeaning them in the face not only made those few noticeable but also pleased their ego like the cat that’s got the cream. This began to trend.
Soon, controversial remarks and unprincipled stunts began to evolve as a rapid route to publicity and few opportunists like Poonam Pandey, cashed it remarkably. The trend further levelled up and a group of people deduced that our country is now ready to host a contentious show like AIB where celebrities are subjected under humiliation and embarrassment; a concept that is widely popular in western countries.
What they do in the Indian version of the show, AIB, is cross the already drawn socially acceptable lines of cracking jokes to crack jokes. Their argument in support is “Thousands of criminals and rapists are roaming free and you are outraging over a joke cracked by us comedians” but sorry to say that “Thousands of criminals and rapists are roaming free” was supposed to be a worry, not an excuse. That it’s not illegal what you do is grantable but can the law institute such set of rules to which you can comply with while cracking jokes? No, because jokes thrive on your sentiments, experiences, personality and many such idiosyncratic events and profiting on Government’s helplessness to technically frame a set of guidelines for it, makes you a person who flourishes on democracy’s loopholes suggesting, you technically didn’t break it but contravened the intent of the law.
That is where social norms come into effect. Social norms can make rules where the law technically fails. Although most of their rules are arguable and can be discarded without having much of consequences to face but certainly not this because in a subsequent time if a guy smacks a joke on your face about your mother diminishing her to an ill-repute, all in good humour, you can’t do a trifle because he is well within the boundaries of law and if at all you’ll react in a fashion similar to how you are expected of, that will be illegal. So what we can do from here is keep advocating their sense of humour in the name of freedom of expression or think of drawing a line.
Free from any preconceived notion about him and his show and conserving all my even-handedness, last night I watched the Tanmay Bhat’s controversial video of Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar’s roast and found it to be very shoddy and extremely unintelligent. The least a viewer expects of your jokes is to be funny and sadly that wasn’t. Not only it was ill-scripted and disgracefully presented, it was also not comic which safely proposes that the video was just a tawdry stunt for seeking attention.
Few people campaigned for Tanmay Bhat asking why is he being targeted when there are thousands of twitter handles doing the same. Well, to them I would say, thousands of people are raping girls which don’t give me a license to rape one. Moreover, Tanmay Bhat is a public figure whom people take as a pattern making him socially more responsible and careful. Also it’s needless to say that the message is for all.
I am not antagonistic towards all of Tanmay’s work. In fact, I subscribed to few of them. I even didn’t lodge much protest to what they did at Worli on December’14 because the roasted artists had their consent for the show. But assembling mindless jokes on the foundations of vulgarity gives you an undeserved regards and uncalled messages which need to be confronted one of these days if not today.
The whole indignation can be summarised as, someone made a joke about somebody which few people didn’t like and hence are requesting him to stop. As simple as that! If at all it is requisite to use derogatory words, use it to make your point, don’t make a point to use it needlessly. The lesson for Tanmay to learn is that comedy is, cracking a joke without cracking a soul. Moreover with a built like his’, he don’t need to do third-rate tricks, he’ll effortlessly stand out in the crowd (all in good humour).