Stand-up comedian Neville Shah has issued an apology after a video clip of his performance five years ago went viral on social media. He said that the performance was taped a few months after he lost his mother.
Neville Shah said, “I apologise for the trauma, the anger and duress that the joke has caused a lot of people. I am sorry.” “It was taped a few months after the loss of my mother in 2016. The joke in question and a lot of the others are about me grieving and dealing with that loss. I was trying to convert my loss to words and in the course of that, if I have hurt anyone or any community’s feelings, I am truly sorry,” he added.
He stated, “I had no intention to hurt or insult any community. I realise, that the joke though only intended to be funny, has been largely found to be tasteless and devoid of humour. I also re- alise that it has hurt people, even though that was never my intention. I truly apologise for the thoughtless remark on quota admissions.”
A video clip of his performance was in circulation since Sunday. During the performance, he jokes about a doctor who he suspected of being a ‘quota admission’. He says, “Why do you have to give quota admission when there’s a matter of life involved?”
People on social media had taken offense at the comment and attributed it to his ‘Savarna’ background.
savarnas really will come up with extremely hyperspecific hypothetical situations only to be casteist, neville shah being the premier example of how UC meritocracy is a myth clearer than day, pass it on https://t.co/IEVnJU0fuz— girlboss gatekeep there's no third (@pussyriotttt) May 17, 2021
Others accused him of insulting doctors.
#NevilleShah just insulted 60% of Frontline doctors who are sacrificing their lives. What happened to the doctor solidarity (or) does that fraternity work only for Upper Caste Doctors?— Arunesh X (@AruneshX) May 16, 2021
Some saw it as evidence of ‘Brahminism’.
Reservation "jokes" have been cracked by caste Hindu Varun Grover, Parsi Neville Shah and even Muslim Munawar Faruqui. Disdain towards DBA folks has entered the mainstream now. Other religions should introspec if they are on the path of brahminism— Pakeezah (@Pakeezahawadh) May 18, 2021
People also took offense at the joke as it described a limping doctor. They said it enforced stereotypes about the ‘disabled’ community.
Non-disabled like Neville Shah (@craziebawa) make jokes on @PrimeVideoIN about #DocsWithDisabilities to emphasize our ‘limitations’. This outrageous belittling stereotype us, undermine our contributions, erode disability identity, & exclude disabled comedians. #DisabledAndProud pic.twitter.com/gKPh26bStX— Doctors With Disabilities 🇮🇳 🩺 👩🏻🦽 (@DwDAoC) May 17, 2021
There is great anger against Shah for the joke.
Neville Shah, you are repulsive, utterly distasteful and quite frankly your heart is full of unwashed socks. Your soul is full of gunk …The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, "Stink, stank, stunk!" https://t.co/zQDtKKm2SB— Väts 🌈 (@untitledhalffag) May 17, 2021
People on social media are not satisfied with his apology either.
Neville Shah isn't a Hindu but made a casteist joke showing how non marginalised people irrespectively perceive quotas to be. Also his apology is pire garbage.— aiyo (@fragnipanicked) May 17, 2021
ThePrint’s Dilip Mandal chastised Neville Shah for the joke as well.
माँ मर गई। हमें अफ़सोस है। माँ से क़ीमती क्या है जीवन में। लेकिन माँ के मरने पर रोते हैं। गाली थोड़ी देते हैं। अब मान भी लो कि बचपन में यही सब गंदी बातें सुनकर बड़े हुए हो। कोशिश करो। सुधार हो जाएगा।— Dilip Mandal (@Profdilipmandal) May 17, 2021
Neville Shah issued an apology on Monday evening, a day after the video clip was in circulation. He said that there is a great many things he has to educate himself with.