The government’s decision to put a blanket ban on the half-a-dozen parody Twitter accounts that mimic the Prime Minister’s official handle @PMOIndia, is making the comic fraternity react strongly. Even as the government gives its reasons for the move in view of the current communal tension, well-known comedians say not all gags incite violence.
Mumbai-based stand-up comedian Rohan Joshi, 29, who tweets from the handle @mojorojo and has 22,213 followers, says, “These accounts are not pretending to be the PMO. The fact that they are a parody account is clearly mentioned in the bios. Only the handles that actively disseminate hate should be banned.”“Not all Twitter handles are there to spread hate messages. We should be open to a sense of humour and light-hearted tweets. You can’t keep ignoring public opinion. It’s the age of information after all,” says Delhi-based comedian Neeti Palta,36, who tweets from @neetipalta.
Clarifying the government’s stand, a PMO official says, "We don’t lack sense of humour and have nothing against parody accounts per se. What’s not acceptable to us are Twitter handles that incite communal tension in the name of humour. We are against fake and impostor accounts that misrepresent the respected office of the Prime Minister. Twitter has responded to our concern and we shall soon be following their laid down procedure to tackle these accounts.”