There is a thin line that separates comedy and insensitivity. Tanmay Bhat might not have been able to keep himself balanced in that line and we wouldn’t blame him for that considering his weight.
Yes, I did indulge in body shaming here. But, who cares? He did take part in a roast where almost every joke on him was about his weight. I am sure he doesn’t mind if I make a lighthearted banter about his weight. You felt it wasn’t funny? It doesn’t matter to me. I have freedom of speech. If I can’t make people laugh through proper jokes, I would use profanity, body shaming etc. Humour gives me a facade of moral invisibility to statements “made in jest”. You have no right to object to it. If you are objecting, you are violating my freedom of speech.
It has been a considerable amount of time since I have been in the news. I desperately need some attention. How can I achieve that without any hard work? Well, let me mock some personality who is treated as an icon and has a fan following nothing short of being called as worshippers. I will make those icons use cuss words, I will make them use obscene gestures, that will create a shock quotient among the viewing public. Being irreverent is cool these days and I will be disrespectful to the maximum extent possible. That will give me my 15 minutes of fame. It will be the perfect cannon fodder for the shares, likes, and comments in social media and the ideal way to get some cheap laughs.
But, I am a comedian. Am I not supposed to genuinely make people laugh? Yeah, but why bother? If I can use second rate mimicry and third rate writing coupled with some cuss words and be trending in the news, why should I make the effort to make people laugh through some good old humor? I will just make some Game of Thrones references and show my followers how chic and urbane I am.
The followers of the celebrities I will make a mockery of, will raise a great hue and cry, some political parties will get the cue of free publicity and file FIR’s against me or verbally or physically threaten me and this act of stupidity by political parties will completely overshadow the fact that I humiliated and mocked some of the so-called living legends. The media will have its share of the pie as well where news anchors will shout at the top of their voices about how political parties are ignoring pressing issues like drought and yet ironically have an hour long debate analyzing the repercussions of my actions.
But, won’t I lose followers? Nah, I don’t think so. The westernized India, who believe that it is cool to say anything about anyone would still follow me because most of them are impressionable and would do anything to look “cool” among their peers. The other India, or the “traditional India”, in any case, doesn’t follow me and in any case who gives two hoots about them, they are old and about to die soon anyways.
As for me, I will get my time in the limelight till the next breaking news hits the country and whenever I feel the need for attention again I know what the tried and tested formula is. Also, as they say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”