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15 Jun, 2016

No jokes please, we’re Indian – The Hindu

Sometimes the reaction is the real joke. The police force in India’s financial capital have sought legal opinion to check if they have grounds to file an FIR against a comedian for a video he recently posted on the messaging application, Snapchat. The Mumbai police were following up on a complaint from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a political party with a remarkably low threshold for taking offence. And the MNS was not the only party outraged by the post by Tanmay Bhat, a comedian fairly well-known for his “roast videos”, or takedowns of celebrities. Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, for instance, decided to make it clear that people like Mr. Bhat “should be whipped in public”. Using the “face swap” feature on Snapchat, Mr. Bhat had spoofed Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar, with jibes about his cricketing ability and her long singing career. It was certainly not polite. It could be argued that locker-room chatter goes with the roast territory, and that it is in the nature of the beast to push the boundary of how much political incorrectness can be deemed passable. The point here is not to applaud his sense of humour — or to condemn it. It is to spotlight the speed with which the system mobilises to shut any expression of mockery targeted at the well-known.

Read the rest: On Tanmay Bhat’s video spoofing Sachin and Lata – The Hindu