The Censorship Priorities : Comedy Sketch On Modi Gets Pulled Off Air While Sexist Comments Remain

Literally, The Joke Is On Us 

You see, you can’t do a Modi act but can do a mimicry act of Rahul Gandhi. Also, we will pass sexist comments at women in the comedy.

The Great Indian Laughter Challenge is comedy hunt program aired on Star Plus, with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as Super Judge alongside comedians Mallika Dua, Zakir Khan, and Hussain Dalal.

And there are so many things wrong with the show. To begin with, after having a bad start with TRP ratings on TV, both the internet stars Mallika Dua and Zakir Khan are being sacked down from the show. (But hey, that’s not the problem here.)

Recently a Stand-up comedian, Shyam Rangeela, a contestant on the show, delivered a splendid stand-up performance by mimicking our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was lauded by all the judges for his great performance by the judges, and the clipping immediately went viral all over the internet.

But only when he was informed that -- “we can’t telecast your bit, you have to prepare new material, and re-write and re-shoot all over again. And this time you can’t do the Modi act and can mimic Rahul Gandhi”. 

The Comedy Of Voluntary Agendas -- Shyam Speaks Up

After this disheartening news, the comedian shared his views with ‘The Wire’ in a video,

I got a chance to be a part of this show because of my mimicry.  I got a call from the Star network production saying that you should try laughter challenge, to which I agreed and took part, and got shortlisted under top 50 contestants, and for the first episode, It took me a time of month to prepare the material and performed it (the Modi act), but only later I was informed that the clipping won’t be telecasted on TV, and two of my other scripts have also been rejected because of enactment of Modi. And was told that, I can’t do the Modi act, but can mimic Rahul Gandhi, I felt sad that my video (which was appreciated by judges and the audience) will not be telecasted on TV, and my family and villagers will not be able to watch it.

Then I moved on and prepared new content on Rahul Gandhi (as they suggested), I prepared for Rahul Gandhi impression, and again got informed that I can’t do that either. I really got mad, and questioned the authorities about the mess that’s happened to me, they said, things will get better, just prepare some new material, and I had only 2 days of time left before the shoot of the episode, and prepped some content, with help from fellow writers, and performed (not the content what I was actually planning to deliver). But I was on TV was just not my forte kind of content, I was instructed and guided to only perform in certain ways, my actual performance of 3 minutes got clipped down to just 40 seconds, and of course, I got eliminated out of the show, right after, because of my ‘poor content’.

All this what has happened with me disturbed my mental peace, and I’m upset. And moved back to village leaving behind all the memories, wanting to start something new with life, right then, out of nowhere, my video (Modi act) became viral all over internet, and everyone started loving it, I was so happy, and shared the clipping immediately onto my Facebook wall too, and started getting phone calls from many people. I’m done with this thing once and for all, please don’t patronize me, I’m happy with my life’.

Star Plus refused to air my mimicry of Modi: Shyam Rangeela

When Does Our Comedy Really Start Hurting?

It is very sad to see a great artist like, Shyam Rangeela, go through this phase of his life, just because his act involved mimicking of our PM, Why do not understand things like how they are supposed to be? Why are we oversensitive to everything?

Saturday Night Live (SNL), won countless Emmy’s for making fun of president of the most powerful country in the world (Donald Trump), and here in India, we have this.

Also, how can the Star management say that ‘You can mimic Rahul Gandhi’, Is it because BJP is the ruling party? People make millions of jokes every day on Manmohan Singh, no one had any problem with that, but someone mimics our PM, people lose their shit.

What’s ironic is that PM Modi, once said that ‘We need more Satire and Humour’, and he also said, ‘Humour is the best healer, builds a bridge between communities and societies’. And in an interview with Arnab, he also says that,

‘Mere mood swabhav mein toh Mazak hai, lekin in dino mein Mazak ek bohoth bada sankat ban gaya hai, mujhe darr lagta hai, Hasi mazak khatam ho gayi hai ji, chinta ka Vishay hai’ which literally translates to, ‘I’m actually a quite a funny man, but the thing nowadays is humour has become DISTRESS, I get scared to crack any joke in public, and I’m sad that a thing like this is happening’.

We too, Modi Ji, We too are sad that a thing like this is happening, but the real question is if PM Modi is OK with jokes on him, who are those people that have a problem with it? They never come to light, but yet, disturb the entire decorum around us.

If all this is already bad enough to have happened with the show, recently Bollywood star, Akshay Kumar passed a sexist comment at Mallika Dua, ‘Mallika ji aap bell bajaiye, main aapko bajata hoon.’, which literally goes, ‘Mallika, you ring the bell, I will bang you’. Yep, he said that on national TV. And somehow not many people had a problem with it.

Freedom of expression is the most misunderstood thing in our country right now.

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