Comedy Mein Tragedy

The funniest thing that happened last week was that a certain Tanmay became a Bhat of all jokes! Alright, I know it is passé, but what is anybody going to do about it? Send some goons to chop my legs of? Doesn’t that sound bizarre? So it was when a certain righteous party threatened to act in a not-so-righteous way!

Fun fact: The title track of AIB in their videos is – Tragedy mein comedy. But who thought that comedy could end up being so tragic! Oh, not for Tanmay! I am talking about India. Tragic for India. I just realized it this week that the cumulative IQ of our country is far less than what I had imagined!  You know something is really amiss when a country wants to put a comedian behind the bars for an unfunny joke; and nobody cares or dares to talk about a terrorist’s call to a politician!

Cartoon-on-freedom-of-expressionYes the joke wasn’t funny. Yes it was crass. But so is IPL to cricket. Is anyone complaining? People who like it, watch it. People who don’t, switch the channel to watch Sooryavansham. So if you don’t like the video, don’t watch it. Simple. If you can make fun of one person on this planet, you can make fun of anybody! There are so many jokes on Raj Thackerey. I am surprised how he was not offended by them! Oh, maybe they were true! And exactly why this is not true. It’s a stupid joke!

Jokes apart, why do we take ourselves so seriously? Why are we always so offended?

I think our insecurity lies elsewhere. Identities have become our only anchors in a wild river of change. Actually, our social identity to be precise. Whether we are an AAptard, Gandhian, overweight, gay, Bihari, Salman-fan, engineer, Modi follower, or God forbid, Donald Trump – anything – but it cannot be a laughing matter for anyone else! And beyond that identity, please don’t ask who we are. Because, nobody knows!

However, we are offended by everything we are not. You can’t eat the food you like but I don’t, can’t read books that I don’t understand but intensely hate, and lately, can’t joke about Sachin Tendulkar or Lata mangeshkar, because I am a Marathi Manus, and so are they! Well, till now I believed you could only not construct fly-overs near their residence. But apparently, you can’t even joke about them! Touché.

But you know what, we are not offended by a child-marriage story being telecasted at prime time! We are not offended when lots of sexist and misogynist jokes become viral on WhatsApp. We are not offended when the government is drowning all its citizens in a cess-pool, when all they should being doing is create more cesspools! We are not offended when political parties don’t get so worked up about communalism or rape, as they do about a stupid joke on a stupid app that no one even knows about. Bravo.

The joke is on us.

Jai Mata Di

In India, we are very lucky because we have multiple Maa’s – Dharti maa, Bharat Maa, Ganga Maa, Our own Maa, Dai Maa, and for some even Radhe Maa.

And when I write Jai Mata Di, I am definitely not talking about the funny woman, over-decked as a Christmas Tree (or our very own version of Santa Clause?), who carries a Trishul in the flight! I mean I laughed so hard when I read this news; it made the colour of my blood as red as Radhe Maa could get! Alright, alright. I know it’s a forced metaphor, but come on, I had to use it! You know me.

On the other hand, the entire nation is disturbed by one regional leader’s reservation against saying ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’! And it couldn’t have been timed better (or worse) when the entire country is struggling to define nationalism, or rather anti-nationalism. Everyone is acting like a self-appointed inspector to scrutinize, review and sentence anyone and everyone as an anti-nationalist!

CdhUKQ8W8AAZuXe

Cartoon courtesy – @MANJULtoons

And our very own Shiv Sena is like that audio cassette that has stopped working and plays only one thing on loop – Go to Pakistan. “You eat beef?” – Go to Pakistan. “Muslims want special treatment?” – Go to Pakistan. “Amir Khan even opens his mouth” – Go to Pakistan. Well well guys, enjoy the free vacation! Shiv Sena is like those teachers from school, who are so inefficient that only thing they can tell the students who won’t listen to them is – Go to Principal’s office. Sigh. We know how lame this bunch is!

I think the true question here is- can the politicians approach us without any hocus pocus? Sometimes I feel that we get trapped in the words so much so that we forget what the real issue at hand is, and start fighting for something that is completely bizarre, and at times unnecessary. And it is even worse when our politicians capitalize on this trait of ours! I mean can’t you all educated, wise, and astute people of this nation see the mockery of it all?

Just because someone says ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ doesn’t mean he will always work in the interest of the nation. And vice versa. I can very well be a gangster and say jai Hind at every opportunity I can! There are ample nationalist and anti-nationalist who are a part of riots, moral policing, scams and et al. Slogans cannot be an ultimate sign of patriotism! Hence, not saying one, or teaching them in schools, both, according to me, hold no meaning – unless one can induce patriotic feelings in children.

And something that it definitely is not is religious. How is saying “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” Anti-Muslim, or Pro-Hindu? There was one post doing the rounds on social media, which beautifully displays how ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is only about the country, and has nothing do with your religion- Bharat Ammi Ki Jai. Amin.

PS- Can Mulayam Singh Yadav please gift “Samajwadi Sugandh” to all anti-nationals, to spread their essence of “samajwad”.

 

The ‘Raj’ in ‘Rajkaran’

 

Did you manage to see this rather frankly spoken interview of Mr. Raj Thackeray?

While an all-in-one solution for Kejriwal is to remove corruption, for Thackeray it is to remove the “Bhaiyas”. I think, if it was in his stride, he would remove them from Bihar even.

Q: What is you opinion about the increasing number of rape cases?

RT: We need to control the migration from north.

Q: What about water crisis?

RT: We need to control the migration from north.

Q: What about infrastructure development?

RT: We need to control the migration from north.

Q: What about tourism?

RT: We need to control the migration from ..err.

I like the way he is so clear in his thoughts, and so confident about the fear-is-the-only-way-to-govern funda – doesn’t mean I agree. I think, as against Arnab Goswami’s image, this episode proved the presence and command of the interviewee over the interviewer. This episode was terrific in a lot of ways.

Having said that, it is actually scary to think of a stubborn, stagnant if I may add, “ruler”. Avoid the context, and specifications generalize and keep repeating the generalization, seems to be his Mantra. It is a very divisive kind of politics. It has definitely worked in his favour, to create a space and standing for MNS in such a short while, after having separated from Shiv Sena. But in the long run, in my opinion, such kind of politics will do much more harm than good.

Migration and population are important issues, yes, but they certainly cannot be the reasons for fewer resources, increasing crime rates, no development, poor governance, diminishing safety and security and so on and on and on…and so forth. These problems have been used as a shield way too many times- to cover unpromising, disinterested and helpless politicians.

PS – Awaiting to hear what Mr. Sharad “Power” has to say about this.