No one's going to forget the Tanmay Bhat episode in a hurry. From the Mumbai Police bending over backwards to appease the political class and asking Orkut to remove a Snapchat video to MNS workers threatening to break the comic's bones, a joke sparked a circus of absurdities.
While a section of commenters pointed out that they found some of Bhat's jokes bad, but that doesn't take away his right to crack one, others insisted there must be some holy cows. It was argued that some people and things shouldn't be joked about at all.
Is the demand - that jokes shouldn't ever cross a perceived line of offence - a justified one. While many have had their say, parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor has offered the most informed, balanced take on the issue by a politician in the country.
He begins by saying, "I have not seen the video, but from what I've read about it, I might not enjoy watching it. For me it is an issue of principle, not the quality of a particular person's humour."
But he immediately points out: "Of course some things are against the law -- communal incitement and hate speeches should be rightfully penalised -- but cracking a bad joke is not against the law; it is bad taste at the most."
And he also explained how the idea of having 'holy cows' in comedy is regressive. "To categorise people on the basis of who we can or cannot joke about is also ridiculous. We have always been open to laughing at those we revere. Let's not deify human beings as being above and beyond criticism, cartoons or jokes."
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