Should a comedian be arrested for mimicking?
Should a comedian be arrested for mimicking?Introduction:
We Indians are the weirdest when it comes to anyone hurting our religious sentiments. We would allow films, series and cartoons to be made on our gods but a comedian or a cartoonist creating humor out of our self-style gurus will face the wrath of followers if they dare say anything not quite in favor of them.
And then we are also offended when someone calls us intolerant. It is all right if we do not tolerate anyone saying anything about our gurus. You just don’t get to say it out loud. Comedian Kiku Sharda of Comedy Nights with Kapil was arrested for mimicking Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. He has been sent to 14 days judicial custody for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the followers of the Dera Chief.
Last year, the controversial movie in which this self-styled Godman acted, danced, gave moral lessons, rode bikes, and fought goons was quite in highlight for a long time. This year it seems his followers have taken to no tolerance if anyone tries to mimic their guru but getting a comedian arrested for mimicry is taking the dying intolerance debate to a fresh new level.
1. Freedom of good humor - A comedian will always do what he does best – make people laugh. Kiku also did the same when he mimicked Dera chief. Comedians are known to mimic great personalities like the President and PM of the country. Comedians also play the role of Gods and Goddesses at times solely intended for the purpose of entertainment. Spreading happiness is a good thing. We have to stop being offended by humor and take other important things that deserve attention seriously.
2. The ongoing trend - The show “Comedy Nights with Kapil” is famous for its celebrity guests, some of whom we admire and respect from the core of our hearts. Actor Amitabh Bachchan and cricketer Kapil Dev have been the guest of honor at times and ‘Palak’ aka Kiku has always done what he does best. He mimicked them all and they amazingly enjoyed a good laughter watching him dance through the stage. They were not offended. They did not call the police, neither did their followers and fans. Should you now say that this is an altogether different matter from mimicking an actor since religion is more serious and personal to anyone, let me remind you that the self-styled guru is also an actor. Remember the Messenger of God movie? He played the lead.
3. Kiku is just an actor - Kiku only played the part that he was assigned. He did not direct the show. He did not create the script that required him to act and dress like Dera chief. However, someone out of somewhere got offended and lodged a complaint. Our immediately ready to act police acted faster than ever and without considering the facts, took Kiku into custody. Does that seem fair and practical? No? Exactly!
4. The guru of Bling - Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is known as the guru of bling. He is seen wearing bejeweled costumes and often makes flashy appearances in colorful bikes. He has acted as lead protagonist in two of his films. He did enter the entertainment world on his own will. That makes him prone to being mimicked and imitated. The Bling guru should have immediately asked his followers to revoke the complaint.
1. Derogatory and offensive - If the fan following of a guru is 50 million, the entertainment industry has to be careful while scripting a show based on him. Somebody is bound to be offended and the consequences are pre-determined. You do not get away with making a good laughter out of a religious guru – Bling or no Bling – in India at least. Actors have fans and followers but religious gurus have blind followers. There’s a difference.
2. No reason for tolerance - When Kiku mimics movie stars, sometimes they too might feel offended but they have a reason to tolerate the insult with a big smile and pretend to enjoy being made fun of. They usually go to the show for promotion of their upcoming movies. The last thing they would want to do is upset the million fans of Kapil Sharma and his show. Dera chief, however, had no reason to tolerate being made fun of. Neither did his followers.
3. Because our laws have it - Section 295 A of IPC has it covered. Kiku was arrested under the same law for ‘deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings.’ Anything that is sacred to people of a community should not be made fun of since it can always be expected to cause an outrage. Kiku acted the part and hence it was him who became the target of people’s anger and displeasure.
4. And he was freed - All’s well that ends well. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh accepted the apology and kiku was released (after paying a hefty amount for bail). No charges were booked after the proper consideration of records. Now if we consider what could happen if he wasn’t arrested, most of us would agree with the decision police took. No action by the police would have further angered the mob and they would have resorted to unethical means like threatening the actor or gathering rallies to derogate his image as a comedian. But things did end well due to the arrest. He was arrested, he apologized, dera chief forgave him and people are no longer angry on him.
“There’s a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.” In a country like ours, where people are sensitive about their faith and followings, it is very difficult to determine what might be considered good and safe humor and what won’t be tolerated by one community or the other. Directors and show writers must keep this in mind while writing scripts.
Moreover, people have to stop complaining every time someone says something about their religion or guru. It is high time people start accepting comedy as it is and the fact that it is meant just for humor and not to intentionally hurt anyone’s sentiment.
Police has to be wiser too and ponder thoroughly before taking actions like arresting a comedian for a compliant of hurting sentiments through his mimicry. Police in this case should have thought about the case from the point of view of the comedian and the show too before taking Kiku into custody even after he apologized.
- RE: Should a comedian be arrested for mimicking? -Shehnaz (01/26/16)
- No, I do not agree that a comedian should be arrested for mimicking. When it comes to mimicking it is said nowhere that mimicry should be done only of some certain categories of people, excluding self styled gurus. It is just entertainment. And it is a matter of spreading laughter. In this modern century Indians should learn to accept such modes of entertainment.
- RE: Should a comedian be arrested for mimicking? -SOURISH ENDOW (01/22/16)
- of course No-
cos he does for fun only ,nt fr any intension.....
INDIA is a place where peopl gt hurted sentimentaly in a second..If we compare India with us uk or odr forgn nations den we cn say that people dont gt hurt evn if n e body say or comments abt deir family nd all....
one more thing Comedian profession is to do fun...den why he should be arrested...
- RE: Should a comedian be arrested for mimicking? -vandana singh (01/16/16)
- There is a very thin line between safe comedy and hurting someones emotion.Although comedy serves the purpose of entertaining people around but any script/play/words which mingles with the sentiments of people or serves to hurt the well being of an individual is bound to outrageous violence,threatening and other such deviant behaviors.
It is therefore very important even for the entertainment industry to carefully evaluate a script which serves not only the intended purpose of humor but avoids outraging the followers of any belief.Else,the sole purpose of humor is not met if not acknowledged for spreading laughter and smiles around.
Also this topic should not be further dragged into any court of law to avoid any more of religious outbursts.The very arresting of kiku by the authorities of proved well to not make the situation bitter and be taken up by the civilians who would have acted in a much threatening way..And all's well that ends well.We got our comedian back safely,the self -styled guru has no more reasons to be angry once apologized and the public also stays at ease.
- RE: Should a comedian be arrested for mimicking? -DEEPAK KUMAR (01/15/16)
- NO.THE Arrest of kikku ( palak)_ is not a fair decision. SAINT ,MEAN THE PERSON WHO IS NEITHER AFFECTED OF HIS EXTERNAL ENVIO\RONMENT. HE SHOULD BE FULLY DEVOTED TO THE ALLMIGHTY GOD.
SPREADING SMILE TO OTHER IS ONE OF THE KIND SOCIAL SERVICE. AN KIKU IS DOING THE SAME. MOREOVER THE FOLOOWER OF THE SANT MUST KNOW THEY ARE LIVING IN 21ST CENTUARY. AND THEY SHOULD NOT DO SUCH A SILLY THING ON JUST COMEDY SHOW.
MOREOVER KIKU IS NOWHWRE GUILTY AS HE IS NOT THE WRITER OF THE SHOW.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT SO DON'T WASTE ON SUCH SILLY ISSUES.
I SUGGEST KIKUU TO GO FORWARD TO "SC" AND MAKE THIS ISSUE MORE CLEAR. SO AFTER THAT ONE OTHER WOUKLD THE SAME