Leaders of political parties across political spectrum in Maharashtra on Monday demanded action against comedy group All India Bakchod (AIB) co-founder-creator Tanmay Bhat on charge of belittling two Bharat Ratna awardees -- singer Lata Mangeshkar and ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Maharashtra Navirman Sena vice president Shalini Thackeray virtually laid siege to the cyber cell branch of Mumbai Police and vowed not to move out till Bhat was arrested for his latest video titled ‘Sachin vs Lata Civil War’.
Her party colleague and MNS Chitrapat Sena chief Amey Khopkar threatened to “beat” up Bhat wherever he was seen and stop his shows in the state.
Nationalist Congress Party state spokesperson Nawab Malik dubbed the video as “in extremely bad taste” and demanded severest action against those who had insulted two national icons.
Former Congress legislator Krishna Hegde demanded a law to bar defamation of national icons like Father of the Nation, Bharat Ratna awardees and others.
Ruling coalition partners Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena also sought the deletion of the offensive video from all online media and severest action against its creators.
The video, which liberally ridiculed and ‘roasted’ Lata and Sachin, went viral on the social media and other channels and triggered widespread outrage.
Among other things, in the video, Bhat has shown a face-swap. Statements like ‘why the 86-year-old Lata was still alive’ and ‘who was the better player between the 43-year-old Sachin and Virat Kohli’ raised a howl of protests and condemnations.
While posting the video, Bhat posted on Facebook: “I make such nonsense on my Snapchat - follow me there - ID: Thetanmay (Also I obvously love Lata and Sachin, just having some fun).”
The all-round condemnation for the past two days culminated in the MNS lodging police complaints against Bhat for the “highly objectionable content” of the video, first released on May 26.
Mumbai Police said it had already contacted Google, Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat and other channels for the deletion of the video online.
Bhat was at the receiving end of celebrities on social media networks too, with prominent personalities lambasting him for his “crass humour”.
Anupam Kher said: “I am 9 times winner of Best Comic Actor. Have a great sense of humour. This is NOT humour.”
“Absolutely shocked. Disrespect is not cool and neither is it funny,” said Riteish Deshmukh.
Celina Jaitley said she was “absolutely... Shocked and appalled. Not amused. Lata Mangeshkarji needs to be apologised to... NOW.”
On his part, Bhat retorted: “LoL, Twitter, jaha pe logo ke marne se pehle unke marne ki khabar trend hoti hai, ‘tastless’ aur ‘crass’ jaise words use kar rahi hai.”
He said: “When you guys write about me tomorrow, can you please use my snapchat ID - it’s thetanmay thanks.”