To say that there has been an overreaction to Tanmay Bhat’s Snapchat video mocking Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar would be an understatement. Now Congress politician Shashi Tharoor has perhaps the most sane view about the entire thing. He wrote on Facebook:“I note that many people have conflated my position of principle on Tanmay Bhat’s ‘right to be obnoxious’ with appreciation for his particular brand of satire.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>I have not seen the video, but from what I’ve read about it, I might not enjoy watching it. For me it is an issue of principle, not the quality of a particular person’s humour. What is important to me is to uphold the freedom of expression and the rights of comedians to make jokes, however tasteless. Of course some things are against the law — communal incitement and hate speeches should be rightfully penalised — but cracking a bad joke is not against the law; it is bad taste at the most.Upholding freedom of expression includes defending the right of people to say things you don’t agree with or that you find obnoxious. I don’t agree with communist ideas, but I don’t go around saying they should be silenced.We have not had it in our culture to stifle people’s right to voice their opinion, and to do it now in a contentious democracy is dangerous.To categorise people on the basis of who we can or cannot joke about is also ridiculous. We have always been open to laughing at those we revere. Let’s not deify human beings as being above and beyond criticism, cartoons or jokes.
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