Comedy Nights actor and Comedian Kiku Sharada has been arrested for mimicking a self-styled Godman, Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ji and has been sent to 14 days of police custody. He was arrested from Mumbai by Harayana Police. Oh, I guess we don’t have thieves, murderers, rapists, molesters, serial killers, and honor killers in Harayana anymore that Harayana Police travels thousands of kilometers to arrest a harmless comedian.
We all know Kiku Sharda as “Palak”, the name of his most famous character ever. He is one of the top notch comedians of India on Television screen and his performance as Palak has always been full of life and laughter. No doubt, you must have had a loud guffaw on one of his performances before.
The news of his arrest and further police custody is really saddening and horrifying. It is much more frightening for all those involved in the creative writing, comedy, satire, journalism, and online content writing industry. There is almost no legal line for the writers to know beforehand whether the content they have written would end up hurting someone’s religious sentiments. Too bad for us!
Every day when I write an article I fear whether my words would hurt the sentiment of any one of the thousands of followers of different religious groups and sects in our country.
The law (Section 295A) says you cannot hurt the sentiments of any religious group. But does anybody know what might hurt one individual belonging to a religion but not other followers of the same religion?
Shouldn’t tolerance of words be a part of moral teachings in every religion existing on Earth? Words don’t spill blood, then why do we have people arrested for making others laugh to certain jokes or for just opining about a religion or its head? How are we supposed to progress as a community if we would put full stop to the voice of philosophers, mythologists, culturists, comedians, and other writers?
As far as I know there is no instrument to measure the amount of “hurt” to one’s “heart” because of someone’s comments, online post, article, performance on TV or YouTube, or an interview.
Then, why do we have such laws that make people go to jail because of a vague and hazy parameter of confirming the crime of hurting someone’s sentiments? Oh, people make me cry everyday, even movies and books make me cry, so should I file an FIR against those writers and movie makers, that why did they spoil my good mood?
Instead, why don’t we really focus on eliminating the real crimes like rape, theft, murder, child abuse, serial killing, hit-and-run, molestation, and corruption?
Also, there is a significant difference between giving a hate speech against a God, religion, or a Godman, and making people laugh by passing jokes on living men and women.
Shouldn’t comedy and satire be differentiated from hate and venomous speeches?
I seriously believe time has come to change the laws. There can be a law that you cannot abuse a God, but how can you differentiate between two living men by promoting one to the status of a Godman, and one to a common man. How is it that no one gets arrested for abusing another common man on a road side, but if you mock or mimic a religious figure, who is considered by a few men to be Godlike, you will surely be put behind the bars?
We have seen the recent development of tolerance in our political heads, then why can’t we see the same tolerance in religious people? Today, as a writer, I rarely think before writing any political satire, but it blows my cap off, if I am to write a satire on religion.
So, putting it in simple words, “Be Like Kiku! Kiku needs our support!”