oppn parties Arresting Kiku Sharda: Don't Kill Laughter

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Arresting Kiku Sharda: Don't Kill Laughter

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Arresting actor Kiku Sharda for mimicking Ram Rahim was an act of stupidity. Interpreting criminal law in a manner that it will take away laughter from the people is in itself a criminal act. There are millions of babas in our country, each claiming a sizeable following. If politicians can be mimicked on TV (see the hilarious animations on Aaj Tak and India Today TV channels), what is the problem in mimicking babas. Self-styled godmen are not God – if their actions are mimicked, religious feelings are not hurt. It is only the personal feelings of a few thousand followers that are supposedly hurt. A narrow interpretation of Sec 295A of the IPC is not in the interest of society.

Further, Sharda is just an artist. He was carrying out the task assigned to him. As he rightly pointed out, the script was written by someone else, the costume was designed by another person and the act was directed by yet another person. The show was aired by the channel. He was just performing. If at all anyone was to be arrested, it was people who conceived the show and aired it. Even that would have been against the spirit of Sec 295A.

We need to take comedy in our stride. Cartoonists and mimickry artistes have a job to do. They will take things out of current affairs, weave it around a personality and create their acts. If we cannot take it in the right spirit, there is something certainly wrong with us. Laughter is a vanishing commodity. These artistes are doing their bit in keeping it alive. A few more arrests like this and our TV screens will once again become dull and drab.