Culture · Governance · Society

Thanks for the Censorship

Who’s there?
The Penis.
The Penis who?
The pen-is in your pocket.”

With the recent controversy over the AIB Knockout, and everyone turning into Constitutional Law experts on social media, I figured that as a final year law undergraduate and a fledgling comic, I ought to type something down to help me see some sense in all of this. The reality is, nothing matters, the ones like me penning their thoughts down are rational, and logical beings – and the ones on the streets pulling down posters and banning gigs are not. But as a comedian, there’s just no anger in me about this. Not one bit.

I can’t believe my stars how kind these men are, who are just handing comics all over the country fresh, steaming material. These are some of the most shit-head of men up against some of the sharpest. We are a group of people that tell jokes. Just that. We walk into a pub, take up the microphone and start speaking into it. A man is sitting nearby with his date, chatting her up over a couple of drinks. He needs to talk, and he has to drink. Peacefully. We are an interruption to him. Somehow, yet somehow, in two minutes he turns his head towards us chortling and applauding with his date. We made a slightly buzzed and horny man give his attention to us. We made a room of slightly buzzed and horny men give their attention to us. A few men drunk on sanskriti and parampara is a cakewalk. (By no means do I promote walking on cake. Cake is yum. But one may walk on these men. Don’t think Ashoke Pandit is very yum.)

First of all, it’s a comic’s dream to wake up and see ‘Nuclear Deal’ ‘Fuel prices to rise’ and ‘A forty minute comedy show’ in the same headlines. I mean, really? Do you guys not know how show business works? Did you just, knowing everything, turn a very hip stand up comedy group into a messiah for free speech? You guys are like Krishna in Mahabharata. You get to know of Draupadi’s cheerharan taking place, and immediately turn up at the venue with meters of sarees. The people around you applaud, of course, since to them, you just prevented a woman’s dignity from being tarnished – but only you know how massive those breasts were (wink, wink).

Also, in a country where black money, corruption, inflation, terrorism, agricultural development, technological advancement, child labour, unprotected labour unions, sub-standard higher education, women protection and empowerment, environmental concerns and of course the 2015 Cricket World Cup are burning issues, how the fuck does a comedy video even dream of joining this league?

The comedy group I work with faced a ban on a particular gig at a venue in Mumbai, and of course – they shat their pants. I mean, we were trained to just stand up and entertain you for the evening man. We have no agenda, we are not lobbying for anyone, we have no angle to play. And like a stereotypical Delhi-ite who comes rushing towards you snarling “Gaali mat de, bh*****d” and is hit by the ricocheting edge of his own intellect, you guys are just embarrassing yourselves. Seriously. You dropped your pants here saffron brigade.

I also believe that if Modi wants, he can just turn this around to his favour and everyone else’s. He really has built himself up to be a great leader, a forward thinking man and a people’s Minister (I mean, apart from Muslims in 2002 Gujarat). He could reach out to his saffron comrades and say, “Bro, relax about this already. Jokes are just words, so chill.” And he could, much like his BFF Obama decide to host a Parliamentary Roast – just like the one the White House did, and it was amaze-balls. Then we would have comedy backed by the government. Oh, what a future.

And, hey, lastly, we are comedians. When we go and do our set, there are times when a slightly outspoken member of the audience wants to play along, he speaks back, and sometimes wrecks your timing and flow. Hecklers, we call them. There is a standard way to deal with them. Ignore them for the next bit, but make the subsequent two all about them. He asked for a flash of the spotlight, let’s just blast it at him like sunlight through a magnifying glass. And that’s what you guys are doing. You’re heckling us, for all practical purposes.

So we’ll keep low, we won’t go edgy on you for a while. We’ll take down our videos and podcasts, we’ll think twice before touching subjects like religion, porn and politics. But as soon as you waft away, like a passing breeze of fart that you are, we’ll crack a quick one. We grin and jump as the spreading wildfire of applause, tears your ego and feigned sense of dignity into pieces.

And as we thank the crowd and walk away, your feet will be one of the first to touch the ground during the standing ovation.


About the Author


 Rohan Mukherjee

Ridiculously omnipresent | CEO & Founder of Grayscale Legal | Fellow at The Kairos Society | Percussionist | Doodler | Professional mocker


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