The last few days have been a different kind of rollercoaster ride for the stand up ‘comedians’ in India as a number of old videos where many were seen slandering cultural and historical icons of India surfaced and went viral. Three comedians have posted apology videos tagging CM of Maharashtra, HM, Aaditya Thackeray, Raj Thackeray and Nitin Raut. Though the apology trend started with Agrima Joshua, it does not feel like slowing down anytime soon.
The curious case of blaming BJP IT cell and apologising to Shiv Sena
Whenever a comedian gets abused on social media, the first one to get blamed is the ‘BJP IT cell’. It is a common trend seen in cases of Agrima Joshua, Sahil Shah, Aadar Malik and others. However, none of them apologised to the so-called fascist government, BJP and it’s allies or BJP followers. Till now, three comedians have posted apology videos online, promising that they will not repeat such actions. They also stated that they should not have joked on Shivaji Maharaj, to begin with.
Aadar Malik, the nephew of music composer Anu Malik, said in his message that the video that had surfaced is an eight-year-old video. It was taken out of context and out of time and he has “evolved” since then to a better comedian.
In his video message, Sahil Shah stated that the old video was not about Shivaji Maharaj in particular. Still, it was on chess in which he made a joke on Shivaji Maharaj. He claimed that he has deleted the video and will be cautious in the future not to make such jokes.
Agrima Joshua went a step ahead and specified Shiv Sena, MNS, NCP and Congress in her video message. Looking at the apologies, the comedians seem to be trying to convey that they had no idea that disregarding Hindu sentiments and slandering Hindu Gods may land them into trouble.
Joshua’s old tweets were also brought to the fore. The comedian was seen trying to convey that rape and acid attacks are ‘funny’.
Comedians deactivate Twitter accounts after old offensive tweets went viral
Comedian Rohan Joshi from AIB has deactivated his twitter account after his old tweets with vile, abusive and deeply offensive comments against West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, the Pawar and Thackeray families and some other prominent personalities went viral. AIB group had earlier met the Archdiocese of Mumbai to unconditionally apologise for a video they had made.
The Agrima Joshua episode had opened a can of worms and social media users started searching and sharing old content and tweets by many such comedians who had made offensive, derogatory statements against religious groups, ethnicities and had mocked cultural sentiments.
Sahil Shah, Azim Bantawalla, Sanjay Rajoura, Adar Mallik, Neeti Palta, and many others have deactivated their twitter accounts fearing reprisal and police complaints.
It is notable here that Shivaji Maharaj is not just a cultural and historical icon for Indians, he is accorded a divine status by many, especially Maharashtrians. The offensive and crass statements, disguised as ‘comedy’ has generated a strong reaction among people.
It is, however, interesting that while the BJP and its leaders are usually the target of these leftist comedians who claim to be ‘speaking truth to power’ while sharing crass comments against BJP leaders, they are hurrying up to post apologies to the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.