Home Fact-Check Comedian blames The Wire for spreading fake story about censorship of Modi jokes

Comedian blames The Wire for spreading fake story about censorship of Modi jokes

In the last few days, social media is abuzz with messages insinuating that a leading TV entertainment channel censored jokes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi under pressure from government agencies. These messages, often accompanied with some media reports, provide no proof, not even unnamed “sources” citing any government censorship, but the tone of most of these reports nonchalantly suggest some kind of state pressure.

The person whose jokes are reported to have been censored is Shyam Rangeela, who participated in comedy reality show “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” of Star Plus. Rangeela’s mimicry of Prime Minister Modi is widely popular. He was apparently invited to the show owing to that popularity.

However, he reportedly was asked not to mimic PM Modi – ironically something for which he is widely popular and it was that popularity that won him an invite to the show. As a result of his mimicry act being thrown out of the window, this extremely talented mimicry artist was eliminated from the show. A video clip of his act where he is seen mimicking Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, which allegedly was not aired by the TV channel, has already gone viral and is being circulated as ‘censored clip’ with claims of ‘attack on free speech’.

- Ad - - article resumes -

Unsurprisingly, half baked news reports, which claimed that Rangeela was asked to not do any mimicry of Modi but was told that he was free to make jokes on Rahul Gandhi, gave this entire incident a completely partisan colour. These news reports aimed to communicate the supposed dichotomy in political attitude. With BJP trampling upon freedom of expression by censoring mimicry of the Prime Minister and Congress graciously accepting jokes on Rahul Gandhi.

Congress’s allegiance to ‘free speech’ is already a widely discussed topic on social media with users putting forth dozens of examples where Congress has censored creative and literary work. Scientist and columnist Anand Ranganathan has already listed one hundred instances of censorship by Congress, with help from various Twitter users, and the list is not yet complete.

The media is meant to be non partisan and free, but this seems to be yet another example of half baked, incomplete facts being peddled as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. One of the publications that tried to give clean chit to Congress while besmirching BJP was The Wire, which came up with a following headline:

The agenda was more obvious in the Hindi report by The Wire, where the headline quoted Shyam Rangeela saying (in Hindi) ‘TV channel told me I can mimic Rahul Gandhi but not Narendra Modi’.

This politically partisan and dishonest headline by The Wire was spotted by many Twitter users who pointed out how the story by The Wire itself contradicts its headline. In the story, Rangeela clearly says that he was asked not to mimic Rahul Gandhi either:

To confirm the details of this story, I called up Shyam Rangeela and he expressed displeasure over the way The Wire had twisted his words and spread a fake news about Narendra Modi jokes being censored while Rahul Gandhi jokes being allowed.

Rangeela confirmed that The Wire was the first one from the mainstream media to approach him, but they twisted his words, which gave the entire story an anti-BJP and anti-Modi spin. Incidentally, The Wire is already in a fix over another story that tried to insinuate corruption by BJP President Amit Shah’s son and the website has now been summoned by a court for defamation.

“I had recorded my whole statement and given to The Wire, but they are using just one sentence here and there, and now the entire incident has become that if Star Plus did not air that clip, it was because of Modi government,” Shyam Rangeela told OpIndia.com (his statements are being translated into English).

Rangeela rues that due to this original spin by The Wire, now every media house is repeating it as a case of censorship, even though he had made no claims about government interference and clarified that the channel asked him to mimic neither Narendra Modi nor Rahul Gandhi.

He further rues that the channel took such a decision, even though he is known for mimicry.

“Initially I was told by them (TV channel) I can do mimicry of both Rahul and Modi, and later I was asked to mimic neither,” he shared his disappointment, “I was asked to do other stand-up acts and not do political mimicry, and I had no time to prepare. I tried some stand-up acts, but was eliminated from the show.”

Rangeela reiterated that he doesn’t believe there was any pressure from the government as his mimicry of Modi was already hugely viral and he never faced any hostility or hate from anyone, especially from Modi supporters. He also noted how PM Modi himself had appreciated how well some people mimic his voice.

“I personally know many Modi supporters and they never had any objections to me mimicking Modi,” he told OpIndia.com on phone, “Out of 100, there are barely 5 who might say don’t mimic Modi, but they have no idea what they are talking about and they are the ones who find everything wrong in anything in the world.”

(you can listen to my conversation with Shyam Rangeela below)

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

India has successfully launched its second mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan-2.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Sushma Swaraj shuts down trolls

Former EAM Sushma Swaraj shuts down a troll, Irfan Khan, who wishes death upon her

Sushma Swaraj was condoling death of former Delhi BJP President when troll insinuated that she too will die soon.

Hey, New York Times, F**k you, again

India successfully tested anti-satellite missile today, springing it into the elite space club.

Is there a concerted attempt to sow doubts against PM Modi among his most loyal base?

By now, everyone of us who is out there on social media is aware of this strange new phenomenon.
Exclusive interview with BLF chief Dr Allah Nazar Baloch with OpIndia

Pakistan plundering Balochistan, we appeal PM Modi to support freedom struggle: Dr Allah Nazar Baloch of BLF speaks exclusively to OpIndia

Away from the glare of the world that often talks tall on Human Rights and the rights of the indigenous people, Balochistan bleeds at the hands of Pakistan. OpIndia interviews founder and chief of Balochistan Liberation Front, Dr Allah Nazar Baloch
Andrea sobs while pleading that her husband is innocent

Abusive actor Ajaz Khan who was arrested for inciting communal tension was ‘framed’, claims his wife, says he did nothing wrong

Khan was arrested by Mumbai Police on Wednesday last week for posting objectionable videos amounting to communal incitement on Tiktok and other social media websites
Islamic extremism

Two youths, Shekhar and Basant forced to chant religious slogans by a mob that showed them Tabrez Ansari’s video, stabbed when refused

As Shekhar and Basant refused to raise religious slogans, the angry men reportedly stabbed them with knives.

Live updates Karnataka Trust Vote: House reassembles, Speaker has given 6 PM deadline for the trust vote

JDS-Congress government of Karnataka is facing their second floor test after assembly elections were held in May last year.
Two Kanwariyas beaten up

Communal tension in Jaunpur as two Kanwariyas beaten up by Arif and Riyaz for chanting ‘Bol Bom’

Two Muslim men beat up the Kanwariyas for refusing to stop chanting 'Bol-Bum'

Class nine student beaten by senior students for protesting ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ during National Anthem singing in school

When a Hindu student protested allah hu akbar chants during national anthem in school, he was badly thrashed by Muslim students

Watch: Videos from moments before the horrific Sonbhadra massacre

The videos seem to have been taken by a local villager who perhaps had no inkling that he/she was about to record brutal killings of ten people.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,762FansLike
160,343FollowersFollow
74,914SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post