A few months ago All India Bakchod, a group of stand-up comedians, who also host a popular YouTube channel, decided to organise a celebrity roast, hosted by Bollywood darling Karan Johar, the AIB team and a few invitee roasters.
The main guests to be roasted that night were actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor.
The evening had a sellout crowd of 4,000 people, tax-paying adult citizens, who laughed their guts out.
Some weeks later, AIB posted a censored version of this roast online on its channel and served up 4 million views in a matter of days.
From its inception, everyone who went to the evening and everyone who clicked the link knew it was a comedy of a highly adult and risque nature.
On Monday, a previously little known organisation filed a complaint against Karan Johar, Ranveer, Arjun and AIB.
Maharashtra's minister for culture is now 'probing' criminal charges against this group.
Before the government embarks on this strange venture, I would like to point out why AIB is very much part of Indian culture.
I will not talk about Khajuraho, Konarak and Kamasutra as those are too well known.
I shall talk about comedy or 'vyang,' as it is called in Hindi.
Many centuries ago, people realised civilised society is not the true face of its people. It is only a mask of civility that people wear and sometimes that mask needs to come off where everyone lets out their true feelings and be themselves and then life goes back to being normal the next day.
It started as Madanotsav where people would crack highly sexual jokes as well as indulge in risque behaviour, let it all out of the system and go back home. This later became Vasantotsav. Today, it is known as Holi.
Then and today, you have people singing Kabira and Phag (Holi songs) loudly with clear sexual innuendo. I am sure everyone has heard one of them sung by Amitabh Bachchan in Silsila: Rang Barse Bheegi Chunarwaali Rang Barse.
Hasya Kavi Sammelans are held all over India where poets regale the public with humour ranging from very civil to bawdy stuff.
Weddings are as Indian as it can get. Please ask your wives or women in the family about the culture of sangeet, especially in the North, where ladies from the girl's side during the sangeet sing the choicest abuses and laced songs about members of the boy's family, letting out steam.
I am sure you have heard of the Tepa Samelan held every year in Ujjain. Then we used to have a poet called Chirkin who used to write shers, but when that didn't work, he decided to write about sex. All such videos are available on YouTube.
The AIB roast had Karan Johar headlining it. His mother sat in the front row. I have a question for our government: Are you bigger than his mother? Or has the State taken on the role of parents to govern the behaviour of its adult citizens?
Every member on and off the stage was an adult who went in knowing what they were about to experience.
If the government is really bothered about saving Indian culture, then stop the culture of rape, stop the culture of corruption, stop the culture of goondaism, stop the culture of burning churches.
The State has no right to come into our homes and teach us lessons in moral science and Indian values.
To all those who have a problem with things that offend you, I have only one thing to say: Don't watch it!
- Courtesy: Rediff.com
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