Thank you Tanmay Bhat for saying things as they are; for saying things that you have on your mind without fear or prejudice and thank you for laughing off the criticism. Too many times in the recent past have we seen seen people say things and then quickly apologise because they ruffled a few feathers. Too many times have we seen the mob rule the roost and bully their way to 'victory.'
In case you've joined the party late, Comedian Tanmay Bhat (the AIB star) posted a video on his Facebook page, in which he took the mickey out of Lata Mangeshkar (ji) and Sachin Tendulkar (ji?).
You can watch the hilarious video below:
I mean, watch it again. It's harmless shit, the kind you are supposed to watch, laugh and move on -- just like a Govinda movie. And many of us did exactly that.
But count on Bollywood to show just how to take the fun out of humour. They have a problem... and they have let Tanmay know in no uncertain terms: 'Just how can someone make fun of Lata (ji or is it di?)?'
Anupam Kher... well... what can one say about the man... he has won nine best comic actor awards (don't these award shows make sure everyone gets an award?), he has -- in his own words -- 'a great sense of humour' but even he had a problem.
What next? They'll ask us not to make fun of Rekha or Salman Bhai or even Amitabh Bachchan.
That Bollywood is angry does not surprise us -- the fight between Kangana and Hrithik is a prime example of the kind of silliness that they are capable of.
These are things that are hard for Bollywood to say because they are constantly trying to find ways of co-existing; they never quite know who they will have to work with next and unless you want to keep saying sorry for three years like Arijit Singh, you better get in line and respect the seniors.
If Bollywood wanted to add any credence to their reaction, they will be pleased to know that Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (which goes about hammering Biharis, toll booth operators and many others at the drop of a hat) has decided to file a criminal complaint against Tanmay. That should convince them all that they are on the right track and that their thinking matches that of the MNS.
Either which way, this row is silly and we hope that Tanmay just does another skit of 'conversations' he had with Bollywood stars after the controversy broke out. That we are pretty sure will go viral as well.
The nature of comedy is such that somebody, somewhere will almost always find it offensive. If you make a joke about Sardarjis, that could be in bad taste. As can jokes about fat people or the gay community but that never stops the jokes. Some of Bollywood's comedy movies are frankly pretty offensive as well but there is never any outrage over that. So here's the thing, there are some lines that should not be crossed but this was clearly not one of them. The outrage is just not justified, so calm down and carry on.