Tag Archives: obscenity

On the Need for Obscene and Offensive Humour: Rohit Revi

This is a guest post by ROHIT REVI

Tanmay Bhat, popular Stand Up Comic, recently released a video on the popular social networking platform SnapChat, imitating Sachin Tendulkar, the popular cricketer, and Lata Mangeshkar, the popular Musician. He called it ‘Sachin vs Lata Civil War’, where the two figures argue over who the better cricketer is, Tendulkar or Kohli. It was almost immediately picked by right-winged political groups, such as the BJP and the MNS, and over the course of the day, the few seconds long video became about ‘Tanmay vs Indian Culture’, ‘Comedians vs The Nation’ and so on. Mumbai Police consulted legal experts, in the meanwhile asking YouTube and Facebook to take the video down. The mainstream media, held hour long debates in relation to the video, and those who tuned in heard about ‘drawing lines’ and ‘crossing boundaries’, amidst drowning shrieks on, again, what ‘our’ culture is and what it is not. As customary, MNS Leader Ameya Kopkar, issued a quick threat to assault him, if he ever appeared in public. Sunil Pal, the comedian, called the young brand of comedians of which Tanmay is a part, a group “filled with lesbians and gays”. An effigy was burnt.

This article is not about whether the video was funny or not. It is about a certain brand of offensive humour and the need for it. Continue reading On the Need for Obscene and Offensive Humour: Rohit Revi

A Short Guide to Appropriate Behaviour in the Wake of A Judgement on Historically Respectable Personalities

[ This short guide is being released to the general public which is liable to fall into error and confusion in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgement in Devidas Ramachandra Tuljapurkar vs. State of Maharashtra restricting freedom of speech and expression pertaining to what the Honourable Justices who have looked at this case call ‘historically respectable personalities’.]

1. Petition all history departments to start courses in historical respectability so that you know who is who and what is what.

2. Having carefully studied the history of respectability, separate out all historically respectable personalities. Genuflect.

3. Then, from those that remain, make a list of historically disrespectable personalities, starting with yourself.

4. Refer to a historically respectable dictionary of slang – for instance, ‘Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang’ by Jonathan Green, the works of William Shakespeare, or a set of curses of the historically respectable Muni Durvasa

5. Choose at least ten colorful insults, curses and terms of abuse, from the above. and construct a poem, written in the ‘voice’ of a historically disrespectable person.

6. Print in large characters, along with an image of a historically disrespectable personality.

7. Stand singly, or in groups, with the large character posters with the poems in the ‘voice’ of  historically disreputable personalities in meditative silence in front of the honorable Supreme Court of India, and in other public spaces, while considering the sagacious wisdom of our historically respectable judiciary.

8. Be ever grateful that you know now that you can always protect your constitutionally guaranteed and judicially protected freedom of speech by ventriloquizing to your hearts content in the abusive voice of a historically disrespectable personality.

9. And learn this formula by heart – “The dignity of historically respectable personalities cannot be protected without the self-flagellation and abuse of historically disrespectable personalities, which includes the majority of all populations, in all societies, in all times.”
10.  Never disobey a law, or a judgement. Only take obedience to its logical conclusion.

Nigah statement condemning the shutting down of Sunil Gupta’s exhibition ‘Sun City & Other Stories’

This statement has been put out by NIGAH

On Friday, March 23 2012, Sunil Gupta’s photographic exhibition ‘Sun City & Other Stories’ opened at the Alliance Francaise in Delhi. That evening itself, plainclothes men of the Delhi Police from the Tughlaq Road Police Station arrived at the show and ordered the removal of numerous photographs. In the chaos that followed, the photographs were removed by the Alliance Francaise under the ‘supervision’ of the Delhi Police and the exhibition was closed for the evening. The next day, the Alliance Francaise informed Sunil -via a third party – that the entire show would be shut down.

Why did this happen? On that day itself the Delhi Police said that someone had called the emergency police hotline, and complained to the Delhi Police about this exhibition which, according to the complainant, was ‘against Hindu culture’. Another version of events, also produced by the Delhi Police, claims that they received a complaint at the Tughlaq Road Police Station from someone who had made a video of the exhibition, complaining about the nudity in the photographs. Continue reading Nigah statement condemning the shutting down of Sunil Gupta’s exhibition ‘Sun City & Other Stories’