AIB reaches out to Christian community, apologises

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 10, 2015 10:16 IST

The Archdiocese of Bombay, which wrote to the state government on February 4 against the recent Youtube show AIB Roast – the Knockout, has accepted an unconditional apology tendered by the show producers. The team of online channel All India Bak**** met Agnelo Gracias, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese on Monday.

However, several Christian groups, not satisfied with the apology, met Gracias in the evening and decided that they would continue to seek legal action against AIB anyway.

A statement by the Archdiocese in the afternoon said: Bp Agnelo Gracias on behalf of the Archdiocese of Bombay accepted the unconditional apology and in the spirit of understanding and reconciliation stated that the Archdiocese accepts the AIB apology and considers this matter closed (sic).

In the evening, several Catholic community groups such as Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Catholics for Preservation of Faith (CPF), Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum (MCYF) and Catholic Residents Organisation for Social Service (CROSS) met Gracias. It was decided that while the groups would be meeting State culture affairs minister Vinod Tawde on Tuesday asking for action against AIB, the Archdiocese has officially withdrawn the complaint.

"We are not stopping anybody from pursuing the matter, but personally I feel that conversation and apology is the best way to resolve any issue. But I will accompany the groups in the meeting with Vinod Tawde, " Gracias told HT.

Last week, Gracias wrote a letter to Tawde, saying some of the remarks made at the show, which was posted online on January 28, were vulgar and crude. He also asked the minister to initiate immediate corrective or punitive action against the derogatory statements made at the show.

The apology letter by the AIB said, “…While performing our acts, no matter the subject, we never intend to hurt anyone, though we as an unfortunate consequence of the nature of our profession, we sometimes do. We are sorry…We would also like to reiterate that the jokes at the AIB Knockout were not intended as a form of persecution or malice towards the Christian community or any other community, for that is not who we are, or what we stand for."

AIB Knockout was a December 2014 charity comic event where Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar and a panel of comedians "grilled" actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor on their personal and professional lives.

But the clips were later pulled down.

Mixed reaction

The unconditional apology rendered by the AIB saw an outpouring of mixed reaction from across the spectrum, with many claiming that the act had let them down.

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