A lot is being debated over Tanmay Bhat's mocking legends Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar. The comedian was taken apart by Bollywood stars and the common man for "humiliating" the duo. Parties in Maharashtra have condemned Bhat and also sought police action against him.
Some others feel the snapchat video of Bhat of All India Bakchod fame should have been taken sportingly and regreted the fact that we are yet to learn to laugh at ourselves.
A university professor in Bengal landed in trouble a few years ago for forwarding a cartoon
A few years ago, a professor of Kolkata's Jadavpur University was arrested after he had forwarded a cartoon featuring some top leaders of the state, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also, a youngster in Maharashtra faced the consequences for questioning on Facebook the justification of closing everything following the death of Shiv Sena patriarch Baal Thackeray.
Bengal's anchor-comedian Mir faced flak from late film maker Rituparno Ghosh for immitating his effeminacy
Bengal's anchor-comedian Mir also made the headlines a few years ago after late Bengali film director Rituparna Ghosh countered him during a television talk about the former's immitating his effeminate style.
Mimicking is an inferior form of art; you can't arrest one for that but also one has to be careful before making such acts
The artistes who indulge in these inferior forms of art can't be arrested for such acts. Such retaliation gives birth to a counter question of dishonouring individual rights, which is against the spirit of democracy. But at the same time, they should also refrain from mocking people in a way which is disrespectful and sounds silly. Bhat had no business in mocking Mangeshkar about her age. That was simply crass.
Mocking politicians is something different
It is one thing to laugh at our politicians because they are public figures with least credibility, thanks to the eroding credibility of politics---across the globe. But it is completely a different subject to take on legendary achievers on the same lines. We treat politicians as a class which is inferior by the overall standard.
Mocking cultural icons like Sachin and Lata invites danger
But when it comes to a Tendulkar or a Mangeshkar or a Ghosh, the mockery invites with itself a danger which the performer is perhaps not aware of. Immitating somebody by his/her age or sexual orientation doesn't makes it homourous. Rather, this careless choice of making icons of various identities a subject of ridicule brings with itself a serious threat. Bhat, like Mir, is facing this threat after his performance.
Maharashtra is known for its strong sub-regional sentiments; mocking two personalities who belong to that state is always risky
Bhat also did a mistake in choosing two icons from Maharashtra, which is known for its strong sub-regional sentiments. It is no surprise that the political parties of that state bayed for Bhat's blood after his video went viral. Mocking two cultural icons at the same time is something which will annoy various quarters---be it the politico-cultural sentiments or the fraternity to which the icons belong---sporting and entertainment. Bhat hence made too many enemies by hurting too many people.
Bhat could have done it smartly and carefully; his efforts perished without a trace
Many are presenting the logic that Indians don't have the capacity to judge their true being. This is something we can learn from the West. Bhat could have done it in a smarter way by presenting the Sachin or Kohli debate in a more polished manner and need not have dragged Mangeshkar in and dishonoured her. If he has to make Indians laugh at themselves, he needs to learn a superior art that speaks about intelligence and sensitivity.