In the chasm of metropolitan life, the hustling world managed to have a corner where Indian millennium seeks solace in a laughable corner. A room of normal-sized, filled with different people from different cast colour race religion laughed in a single distinct tone of hahaha. A place where one can laugh at much intensity without being offended.
In a system where youth felt most vulnerable because the energy being engulfed by this decked-up schedule. So to fuel them up time and again, Stand -up comedy contributed a major part of positivity. Indian Comedians, where they help you to unload off the paranoia of metropolitan charades where one ticket to laugh tried you out from the most horrible time of yours.
If we start the series of being grateful to the introduction of this Stand-up comedy culture, we found, the list is long. The laden clouds of gloominess lighten and brighten from their comical monologues. Actual crusade of questioning is what we gave to these comedians in return?
When democracy first established its roots, it started with a chain of Constitution where Right to Free Speech was among-st one. What instigates then to now situation, people feel offensive at such extent to give death or rape threats to Stand-up comedian?
An upsetting discord of quarrels flooded the internet with off-topic messages to create controversial rise on social media. This action creates a sense of vulnerability to the person who had been targeted. This system is termed as, “Trolling”.
The human civilization which makes laws is so scared of accepting a new system which is created of its own thread. The act of free speech which always comes with a disclaimer had jeopardized Stand-up comedian to an excruciating extent. They feel immense pressure while speaking something on stage. Sooner or later, their statements boost to controversies on baseless accounts. We forgot the upbeat of stand-up comedy has created space in millions of people at heart but it has generated a number of haters too. Likewise, Comedy as a dissent has given room for varied controversies. It seems, this idea coming from the west, which propelled to India, has created too much religion sensitivity.
In one the recent which happened on 10 July where Stand-up comedian Agrima Joshua posted an apology letter to the followers of Chhatrapati Maharaj. This was followed and got ignited when Shiv Sena MLA demanded her arrest, on the saying of Joshua, “I am already psyched about the next big thing they are going to do in Maharashtra, in Mumbai. Anybody heard of this amazing thing they are going to do in Mumbai…the Shivaji statue? I am psyched about it. I want to know more about it, I want to read about it. So I went to the most authentic source of news on the internet – Quora. Wahan par kisi ne nibandh likh rakha hai…This Shivaji statue is amazing master stroke by our prime minister Modi ji, it will have solar cells which will power all of Maharashtra…Doosra banda aya, usne socha ye creative contest hai, to usne socha yes, it will also have GPS tracker and it will shoot laser rays out of its eyes to kill Pakistani terrorists in Arabian Sea. Teesra banda aaya, guys please get your facts right. It’s not Shivaji, it’s Shivaji Maharaj…”
When many political leaders came together in against of the statement Agrima Joshua. Also, her personal property being vandalized, receiving rape threats and death threats where she stepped out to apologized saying, “I am sorry for having hurt the sentiments of the many followers of the great leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. My heartfelt apologies to followers of the great leader, who I sincerely respect. The video has already been taken down. Please amplify.”
Another parallel circumstance went on the social media through, heart-throb sensation with touching comedy a subjected to caste-ism, stand-up comedian, Kenny Sebastian came into limelight after comments. Kenny being trolled and harassed to that pain where he took over twitter to clear the air and he tweeted:
So some fake screenshots of me are circulating where I appear to be abusing people. These are manipulated cause I reported an account who was attacking me cause of my religion.I will be approaching the @MumbaiPolice to get this investigated. Please don’t pay heed to any of these.
— Kenny Sebastian (@knowkenny) July 8, 2020
Despite his tweet, people in the comment section are calling him out attacking and mocking him. Also, some people are posting video recordings of his comment and demeaning him.
Kenny Sebastian had once before been drawn in the mire where he was arrested for releasing a laugh which other people found a most unconventional way to make people laugh. Like Kenny, other comedians had been harassed of their contents where they have been on the constant radar of abusive language death threats in their DMs and trolled publicly. Amidst the feud, Kenny Sebastian has been trolled of a “ricebag”. Many came to his defence and one such tweet which was in support “the kind of disgusting comments being posted under Kenny Sebastian’s tweet on tik tok are so vile and casteist. The fact that people think it’s so funny to call Christians “ricebags” in this country tells you a lot about how they view people from minority castes and religions.”
The Chairperson of National Commission of Women, Rekha Sharma has taken over the matter as NCW had been tagged many times on twitter. NCW chairperson has written to the DGP of Maharashtra for immediate investigation.
@NCWIndia has been tagged in posts with snippets of misogynistic comments made by stand-up comedian @knowkenny. We've also observed his statement claiming them to be fake. Our Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to @DGPMaharashtra for immediate investigation in the case
— NCW (@NCWIndia) July 9, 2020
Yesterday, actor/comedian Vir Das uploaded a video on his Instagram to condemn the normalizing of abusive language in comedy.
Consequently, the war of existence through comedy has pumping its oxygen to survive. The only untouched sect which was stand-up where normal people can unite under the one roof irrespective of religion and cast are on the chronic target. Therefore the question is Comedy can be a dissent?
Written by- Zainab Mustafa & Sumayya Farid
Also read- Comedy As A Dissent?