Kiku: Why so serious?

Kkikuiku Sharda arrested, gets bail, then rearrested for hurting religious sentiments of followers of Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The actor is then sent to 14-day judicial custody.

My first reaction, “Lolololololololoolololololololololololol’ This is so funny. I’m laughing thinking how the big fatso will find it tough to spend even another night in jail.

Ki bhawra bhawra aaya re..
Palak … Palak….Palak..
Hey gunn gunn karta aaya.. re
Bhawra bhawra aaya re.. gunn gunn karta aaya re..
Sunn sunn karta galiyon se.. ab tak koi na bhaaya.. re

Palak… Palak

In all probability, these words will not be music to the ears of a man lying in judicial custody. It’s not funny, and I’m sure if Kiku were to read this he wouldn’t be pleased a wee bit.

You must be wandering what’s got onto me. Perhaps, you’d expect me to be angry with  the Haryana police, followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, but through this parody (inspired from the Kaminey song Fatak) I’m keen to ask one thing –

DOES THAT HURT YOU KIKU?

I’m sitting miles away in Mumbai, and one doesn’t need to even ask Kiku this question but in his ‘hurt’ lies my point. Just like he’s hurt, the followers of the Godman are hurt too.  Now, let me make it clear I’m no fan or follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief or any Godman. To me the man is insignificant, but that doesn’t give me authority to demean him or commit any act that riles his followers.

As a humorist myself, I’m all for freedom of expression, but if one ought to respect freedom of expression, then you  to respect religious sentiments too. Freedom of expression doesn’t entitle you to say or perform any act that may be offensive to some.

I’m not surprised by the twitteratis backing Kiku and slamming the Godman and the Haryana police. Hopefully, Singh’s followers won’t sue the nettizens. Creative freedom, humour is all fine, but a joke is no good if offends the other.  A joke is only termed a joke if it’s taken in the right spirit. Truth be told, India is not a sporting country. We laugh at others, and we’re probably the best at it, but the smile is wiped off our faces, the moment the joke is turned on us.

From my 35 years of living in this country, I’ve come to a conclusion that one ought to think twice before opening your mouth. I’ve bore the brunt of people who failed to understand my humorous remark. I was quick to apologize, but the lesson learnt here was that not all will take my jokes in the right spirit. So, I’ve got to reserve my humour for the  few who understand it and won’t take offence.

The followers of the god man are well within their rights to call for action against the actor, if they felt hurt  with the actor posting a picture of himself as the god man. The ‘freedom of speech’ warriors will cry that before taking any drastic step, the people should first have seen the entire act before taking this drastic step.

Well, that is a wise suggestion, but if the followers were so pissed of seeing Kiku pose as Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, goodness gracious, then there’d be rioting had the show been aired.

It may occur to you that I’m defending the actions of the Dera Sacha Sauda followers, but honestly speaking, I’m not even thinking about them.  My concern is more with the rage on social media over the actor’s arrest. Fellow comedians, actors (mostly TV) have expressed shock at the actions of the followers,  the police and have demanded that Kiku be released shortly. They’ve turned it yet another instance where freedom of speech has come under threat. If celebrities are urging the authorities/ followers to be a bit sporting, then they too can’t shut their ears to sentiments of the Godman’s followers.

Kiku himself first apologised on twitter and later on camera saying that he’s merely an actor who was doing his job. A job assigned by the channel and the production house.

Fair point indeed, both the channel executives and the production creatives /writers are at fault, but as an actor don’t you have the brains to think whether  a particular act can land you in trouble? Comedy Nights with Kapil, that comes to a close this week, has a sardar Navjot Singh Sidhu and I’m surprised that Sidhu himself didn’t foresee the trouble the show can invite if they mocked at the god man, who as history shows, is both revered and  hated in Punjab. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s followers may have felt that this could be an attempt by Sidhu to poke fun at the Dera Sacha Sauda. I’m even more surprised that how could the channel approve such act. It must be noted though that this channel has knack of getting itself into trouble.

In his defense, Kiku pinned the blame on the channel and the show writers who assigned him a job, but I’d like to ask Kiku is the channel now pulling strings to get him out of jail?

Kiku’s plight reiterates that in this country, never expect your employer to back you in such hour of crisis.

Amidst all the crying on social media, I’d like to remind the nettizens that whilst I agree with their freedom of speech call, and that people in power are behaving like the ruthless rulers in Saudi Arabia. Agreed India doesn’t want to be a Saudi Arabia, but India is no America too where joking about powerful people is in vogue. One shouldn’t forget that even in a country like USA, action has been taken against those who poked fun at the president. Wasn’t a kid sent to jail for posting nasty comments about former US president George Bush?  WE are funny people, very few of us do have a sense of humour, but we haven’t learnt to laugh at ourselves. So, why waste our sense of humour on people who don’t care.

I’m a great admirer of Kiku, he’s a brilliant actor, but I can’t have any sympathy for him. We as  a society don’t like  to be ridiculed or be made of. Bollywood actors get pissed off when critics poke fun at their performances. The powerful ones don’t hesitate in calling the media bosses to express their angst. For all the talk about freedom of speech, truth is that India is not tolerant nation when the joke is on you.

As a comedian, you have the freedom to be creative, but when it comes to religion, a little bit of restrain would only help their cause. Thankfully, Kiku is out of jail and I bet from here on he’ll only bow before ‘the messenger of God’.

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