The Agrima Joshua episode has thrown open a can of worms for the stand-up comedy fraternity in India. In the wake of Agrima’s video mocking the Shiv Smarak, a memorial dedicated to the reverential Maratha monarch Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea, a bevvy of so-called comedians have either deactivated or protected their Twitter accounts for the fear of being brought to reckoning after netizens dig up their nasty old tweets and abominable videos that had earlier gone unnoticed.
Sahil Shah from ‘East India Comedy’
Sahil Shah, the comedian with the ‘East India Comedy’ group, has apparently protected his Twitter account after people on social media started taking offence on his tweets against the Shiv Smarak dedicated to Maratha ruler–Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
In addition, a video of Shah mocking the Maratha icon for his bluster on the battlefield was also highlighted by the users.
Here’s another standup komedian @SahilBulla disrespecting Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and making fun of Maharashtra.— Mikku (@effucktivehumor) July 12, 2020
Hey @ShivsenaComms, Maharashtra and the whole country can never tolerate this. pic.twitter.com/fZqqbDzkAX
Azeem Banatwalla from ‘East India Comedy’
Another comedian associated with the ‘East India Comedy’ group, Azeem Banatwalla, has deactivated his Twitter account after Twitter users shared screenshots of his tweets mocking Hindu God Ganesha and Dr B R Ambedkar.
In one of the disgraceful tweets, Banatwalla mocked Ambedkar Jayanti by calling it a “BT Hangover day” while in the another tweet, he mocked Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi by claiming the festival is celebrated by a father slicing his son’s head.
However, possibly after his disparaging tweets started gaining traction on Twitter, Azeem promptly pulled down his Twitter account, fearing that other more repulsive tweets might come to the notice of social media users.
Comedian Alokesh Sinha also decided to call it quits on Twitter after Hindutva activist and former Shiv Sena member, Ramesh Solanki filed a complaint last month against the stand-up comedian for mocking Hinduism and Hanuman Chalisa. Filing a complaint with the Cyber Unit of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Solanki alleged that it had become a trend to crack jokes on Hindu religion and the pantheon of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Sinha subsequently issued an unconditional apology through a video message, reassuring that from henceforth he won’t perform any act that would hurt the sentiments of people.
Sanjay Rajoura from ‘Aisi Taisi Democracy’
Ultra-leftist and foul-mouthed comedian Sanjay Rajoura from ‘Aisi Taisi Democracy’ has also joined the list of comedians who have retreated in the safety of their cocoon by protecting their Twitter account. Recently, a complaint was filed against the said comedian for mocking Hindu gods and goddesses and hurting religious sentiments.
Rajoura had evidently made contemptuous remarks against Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva after which a complaint was filed against him with the Mumbai Police by the former Shiv Sena member and Hindutva activist Ramesh Solanki.
Dear @MumbaiPolice does Indian constitution give people RIGHT to make fun n mock Hindu Gods and Goddesses?— Ramesh Solanki (@Rajput_Ramesh) May 3, 2020
This guy @AisiTaisiDemo is mocking Ganpati Baapa and Lord Shiva and hurting sentiments of Hindus all over the world
Please take action
CC @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @CMOMaharashtra pic.twitter.com/KEXEdVmmOJ
Rajoura also has a history of abusive behaviour on social media. He has resorted to name calling and threatening other Twitter users only because they don’t agree with his views. He has also displayed his casteist behaviour on Twitter by abusing the Brahmin and Rajput communities.
Stand-up comedian Aadar Malik, the nephew of Anu Malik, is another such so-called humorist, who has deactivated his Twitter account. Malik shut off his Twitter account after users spotlighted one of his videos in which he is seen derisively mocking ‘Shiva Ling’.
Standup CoMeDiAn Aadar Malik (@TheAadarGuy), son of Abu Malik, Nephew of Anu Malik(Yes, that garam chai ki pyali singer).— Mikku (@effucktivehumor) July 13, 2020
Has he ever made a standup cOmEdY of The god of his own Community? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/piX7ZdenVa
Neeti Palta has also deactivated her Twitter account after screenshots of her tweets mocking Hindu Gods and Hindu festivals surfaced on the microblogging platform. In one of the deplorable tweets, Neeti claimed that she received a spam message for “puja special lingerie”, wonder if it comes fitted with a ‘mandir ka ghanti’.
In another tweet, she questions how can one name his kid Shiva and not expect him to be destructive. In a still another tweet by the reprehensible comic, she drew a parallel between UPA meeting and Ganesh Chaturthi and contemptuously said “chullu bhar paani mein dalo”.
Rohan Joshi from AIB
Yesterday, one of the co-founders of the All India Bakchod, Rohan Joshi had deactivated his Twitter account after screenshots of his past tweets, where he used vile language for the politicians such as Sharad Pawar and showed prurient curiosity in the sexual encounters of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, went viral on the Internet.
Comedians deactivating accounts to beat the rap
The Agrima Joshua incident has served as a trigger for the netizens and the so-called comedians alike. While the Twitter users are scrupulously searching for content and tweets that implicate these comics for hurting the sentiments of people by making unsavoury remarks on the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, cracking jokes on historical figures, or sexually suggestive statements, the comedians, on the other hand, have been falling over themselves to either deactivate or protect their account, presumably to avoid retribution from the concerned authorities and stop the netizens from further scouring their Twitter timelines which could have provided them with more incriminating content.
It is to this end that the comedians, who had earlier vowed their unswerving commitment to ‘Freedom of Expression’ have quietly withdrawn their support to it and deactivated or protected their Twitter accounts.