A Hindi news channel called “India News” conducts a prime time debate on comedy group AIB’s show AIB Knockout and calls it “kalank” (disgrace). It invites representative of some obscure organization claiming to represent Brahmins, and other similar luminaries who declared that what AIB did was “criminal”.
It could be coincidence, but the next day there were FIRs against AIB and some Bollywood celebrities, accusing them of obscenity, immorality, and indecency – all are indeed “crimes” as per our laws, in case you were wondering.
Expectedly, people are calling this step an overreaction and assault of free speech – which they are – however, the morons who went to a police station to file an FIR over a YouTube video were merely exercising their constitutional right.
The constitution doesn’t bar anyone from using constitutional rights that are available to him by virtue of being a citizen of India, just because he is a moron. And if they are morons, it is of no use trying debating with them and convincing them.
So what is left?
Let the courts decide.
Yes, it may sound like a standard response from a politician, but perhaps it will help every one of us if this case is indeed taken to the courts.
USA, which is one of the most free-speech friendly nations in the world, too has struggled with such issues. AIB, in their video, have acknowledged that what they were trying to do something that originated in the USA.
Today, a show like AIB won’t get any comic jailed in the USA, because their courts have debated such issues for ages and now the legal system, as well as the society, has a fair idea about what constitutes obscenity and what not. The “Seven Dirty Words” is one of the prime examples of this.
Please understand that laws dealing with obscenity and immorality can never be objective. You can’t expect the law to be coded as objectively as “If a photograph shows 40% of breasts, it is okay, but if it goes above that, it will be considered obscene” or something like “One can say kamina, but you will be fined if you say chu**ya”.
In absence of such objective codification of laws, “precedents” help. And precedents would happen only if these things are taken to the courts. US, apart from the first amendment that lays foundation of the free speech, has many precedents that have helped the society to grow.
However, here in India, we love only to debate in the newspaper columns, TV shows, websites (like ours), and on social media. This might be good for intellectual masturbation (oh crap, hope no one files an FIR against us), but it doesn’t help in getting a “legal” clarity over this issue.
It might sound like we at OpIndia.com are indulging in schadenfreude and enjoying the trouble AIB seems to have got into, but we really wish that this case is dragged to the courts. Popular mood is in their favor.
And hope the judge awards punishment to the Hindu and Christian groups for wasting time of the court by filing those FIRs. Or, god forbid, the court awards punishment to the AIB guys for breaking the laws.
In either case, it will help the society grow and it will enrich the interpretation of law.
Please understand that today AIB is getting popular support, and this is the right time to settle the debate “legally”.
What happens if someone cracks similar jokes on his Facebook profile a few weeks later and a similar FIR is filed? That person may not get the popular support currently AIB is enjoying. Let that Facebook guy have the clarity today itself if he should crack a similar joke without being worried of going to jail. Let this case reach its “logical conclusion”.
The morons have done their job by filing an FIR, and we hope the court settles it – for once and for all. Let the government be not pressurized to act politically correct as it will only help the morons who’d continue to arm-twist everyone, especially those who don’t enjoy star power and popularity.
A precedent will help. And it will help all of us.