The controversy over AIB's (All India Bak****) Knockout show intensified on Tuesday as Maharashtra's major political parties jumped in the ring to demand strict action against the organisers and celebrities who participated in the show.
Faced by an outcry over the obscene language and content, AIB pulled down the show from the web (read YouTube).
"Have taken down AIB Knockout for now. We will speak soon," the group said on Twitter.
The move came after the Maharashtra government swung into action and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis pledged action against any violation.
"If the AIB Roast was vulgar and has violated the law, we will take action," Fadnavis said.
The Maharashtra culture department issued a notice to the NSCI (National Sports Club of India) club, where the programme was held, seeking explanation whether the censor certificate was sought to stage the event.
Ranjit Patil, the state minister for home, said websites selling the AIB Roast tickets would also come under the scanner. "The police department has been asked to monitor such websites," he said. "We will also seek information whether the organisers sought performance certificate from the collector and the police department."
However, the state government took a cautious stand, insisting that it did not want to resort to moral policing. "We will examine if they had got performance licence and censor certificate. It will be seen whether the show has violated any rules under those licences. There will not be moral policing," cultural affairs minister Vinod Tawde assured.
Shiv Sena, BJP's ally in the Maharashtra government, was aggressive. "The government should file an FIR against not just the organisers, but also the participants. The entire show was vulgar and derogatory," said Sena leader Ravindra Waikar, who is also the state minister for housing.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which has been targeting the Hindi film industry in recent years, too was not far behind. The party threatened to stop films of director-producer Karan Johar and actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, who were participants in the programme, from releasing in the state unless they tendered an "unconditional apology".
"We will not allow any film associated with the show (Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh) to be released till they publicly apologise," said Ameya Khopkar, who heads the MNS film workers association.
The Congress and NCP the also demanded strict action against the organisers. "The content is such that you cannot watch with your family," Mumbai Congress spokesperson Krishna Hegde said.