Sunday, March 29, 2015

166. On AIB Roast

After I read  comments in media for and against AIB , I decided to see for myself what it was all about. On Youtube, I found the episode  featuring Karan Johar as anchor with Ranveer Singh and 
Arjun Kapoor as main targets. 

I found people vying with each other in using choicest abuses. Comments were made on  colour of skin, physical appearance, lack of general knowledge, etc. I was simply shocked. I did not know, the world had progressed so far.

I have not heard people using this kind of language even in private conversations- neither in the country nor abroad. But here, downright filthy language was being used publicly. More than the use of such language, I was shocked to see the audience enjoying the episode. The audience included a number of celebrities, some with their parents. I am not sure if the audience was really enjoying the show or was scared of being seen as not enjoying. I was amazed to see some of the actresses enjoying not-so-charitable comments about themselves or explicit references to their personal lives. 

To be fair to the presenters, there was wit and intelligence in what they were saying. Then, why on earth did they need to use filthy language and explicit references to one's personal lives? What they were doing would have been much more enjoyable without the use of abusive language and with a little show of sensitivity towards the 'shortcomings' and personal lives of others.

I commend Aamir Khan for the courage with which he put forth his views on this show. He rightly said that violence is not only physical, but also verbal. I have seen vehement reactions against what Aamir said. Predictably, people advanced arguments like everyone has the freedom of speech, that one should not see what one does not want to see and that this is after all the reality.

I feel, for some people, freedom of speech is freedom to say whatever one pleases to say without any concern for the impact it will have. Freedom comes with responsibility. It is for some good reason that the constitutional right to freedom of expression has been granted with reasonable restrictions. In practice now, there are no restrictions, leave alone reasonable restrictions. Technology has made it very difficult to impose any restrictions. Restriction itself has become a much-maligned word.

I find it strange when people say, don't see what you don't want to see. When we put something in public domain, it is our responsibility to be sure of the content and not the responsibility of someone who innocently sees it and then  laments having seen it. 

About the argument that this sort of language is reality, I contest this. I doubt if those who used this type of language on the show themselves do so otherwise. Many of them are public figures and have never been seen speaking like this. Even if it is the reality, is this the only way to present the reality?

To be politically correct, like Aamir, I must conclude by saying that this is my personal opinion. Who am I to ask others to do or not to do something? I am aware that saying this shows my helplessness. As is expected of a modern, educated and intelligent person that I am, I should either keep quiet or meekly express my personal opinion. I am grateful for whatever leftover freedom of speech I am allowed to enjoy.

No comments: