The visual of a Gandhi look alike pole dancing, making ridiculous gesticulations, brandishing a sword, running around in utter buffoonery caught my attention. It was a channel airing the clipping which a wannabe comedian Gautham Prasad has proudly broadcast on his site as an illustration of his skewed sense of comedy and which has been lappedup and linked to various other.
In his own words “He describes the performance as one of him dressing up in Gandhi’s clothes, then doing a slow stripping dance but falling short of nudity”… I guess here we are supposed to bow our heads and Praise the Lord..or rather Praise Prasad for his sensitivity in sparing the Mahatama of nudity! The outrage in India, Prasad says, “is the first negative response I have ever received. The audience loves it. You can hear their laughter in the video.” Can we have a clipping of the audience please? One really wants to have a ‘vision’ first hand of those who enjoy this travesty!
Its not over yet..his justifications…here goes “”no one is above parody.” Nor is any event. The ‘Guru Of Comedy’ explains, “Comedy is tragedy plus time. You can have something that is awful and painful and over time you get the maturity to laugh about it.”
Oh yeah..So then why does not he take off on his beloved ancestors, grandparents, parents? Or better yet, while he is at it why does not he try creating a fantabulous spectacle of the Prophet Mohammed? After all Prasad argues that he is an entertainer and its his job to provide comic relief. Why has he not tried making the Arabs and Muslims laugh to that…since no figure, authority, even a Prophet is sanctimonious enough to be spared! Or was it just simpler to pick on Gandhiji?
Freedom of speech is one armour behind which the most exasperating of expostulations are made, either on the web, or in our real world. Its fashionable to be irreverent. So take the opposite stand simply because you CAN..not because you sincerely believe in it.
Nothing ought to come for free or it loses its value . Which is why the caveat of responsibility is a necessary adjunct. Ideally a healthy level of self censorship would eliminate need for censuring. But in the event that has not been of consideration, then our freedom of speech has to be exercised to condemn it.
Its subjective how one is guided to willfully use his freedom. If those like Gautham Prasad justify their liberties to denigrate a legend then we can certainly exercise ours to demolish his usage of it .
The Government has responded and initiated action against the channels in question.
If the Pope had to tender an apology for his almost innocuous utterings to do with terrorism, the ‘Cartoon controversy’ created into a global furore then how does Gautham Prasad imagine that his level of blasphemous comedy is going to be above reproach? Its obvious that he has not performed before an Indian American audience, or rather he has not dared to. I am quite certain of the outcome.
And then he has the gall to suggest ‘over time you get the maturity to laugh about it.” About what? Why should we develop a maturity to laugh about Gandhi ?
Or maybe he needs to grow up and adopt a real profession which involves real talent..not one which uses the Father of the Nation as a crutch to help foreigners smirk and tickle their funny bone.
*I have intentionally avoided inserting a link to his site or the youtube. He does not deserve to be seen in ‘the act’.