Believe it or not, those beloved Santa Banta jokes may soon be history — Harvinder Chowdhury, a Sikh advocate has filed a PIL with the Supreme Court to seek a ban over 5,000 websites that host such content. Reason? She says these jokes project sardars as “unintelligent and stupid”. We asked a few Sikh celebs what they had to say about the move.
Standup comedian Maheep Singh says he’s proud to be a part of this “jolly community”. “I’m not pro banning anything, except bad jokes. If it were offensive, someone would have said so long ago. Even I crack those. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you don’t have the right to laugh at others.”
Even singer Harshdeep Kaur feels that these jibes should be taken lightly. “People don’t crack jokes just about sardars, they crack jokes about other communities too, especially on the internet or at parties,” says Kaur.
Not everyone agrees with this view though. Says singer Sukh-E, “Religious jokes bilkul harm karte hain. Sardar jokes nahi hone chahiye, kyunki kisi ki bhaavnaon ko harm nahi pahuchana chahiye. The only reason I don’t agree is that the new generation doesn’t know our culture, and these jokes can be very disrespectful.”
But singer IP Singh doesn’t think there’s anything insulting about these jokes. “Maybe some people take offence, hence the petition. If someone is giving you so much importance, either they are trying to copy you or figure out a trait you have. It’s something you should celebrate, not get defensive about.”