iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, January 13, 2014
On January 5, a joke cracked by Kapil Sharma on an episode of Comedy Nights landed him in trouble.

The stand-up comic had quipped that Mumbai roads have so many potholes that they can cause a poor man’s pregnant woman travelling in auto to deliver a baby on the road. Apparently,  Kapil has received a show-cause notice from Maharastra State Commission for Women after an NGO filed a complaint. 

Kanika Maheshwari, who plays Meenakshi in Diya Aur Baati Hum, doesn’t find it funny. "Many times, such jokes are hurtful. Once, on Nach Baliye, Bharti Singh (stand-up comic) had compared Bruna Abudullah (actor) and her boyfriend Omar Farooque to a rickshawala who got the keys to a Mercedes.’ Though people laughed on the sets, I felt it wasn’t in good taste."

On the other hand, actor Nakuul Mehta feels Indians need to get offended less often. "We should take ourselves less seriously. We should have a sporting spirit. I remember, in Aaja Nachle,  there was a song about a sunaar (goldsmith) and  mochi (cobbler) and one of the communities raised objections to it. So there will always be someone who will be offended. Plus, I feel that anything on TV gets magnified and becomes a big thing."

Fans too feel that we need to have a sense of humour as most stand-up acts thrive on such things. Ira Shah, a 19-year-old media student, says, "I have read about incidents where people have delivered in an auto or a train, so what’s the big deal about this joke?"

Sanjay Mimani, 35, interior designer, agrees, "There are many serious issues which need far more attention than this joke. How about talking about women’s safety and rights rather than taking offense at such a trivial joke?"