The Tanmay Bhat Snapchat Video Problem!

Tanmay Bhat, co-founder of comedy group All India Bakchod, has been in the news for a Snapchat video of his that went viral. In the video, Tanmay has used face-swap technology to poke a little fun at Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar. Basically, he’s speaking about the newest cricketing news item: Is Kohli better than Sachin? I have watched the video and didn’t quite like it. I’ll tell you why. Not because it poked fun at two national icons. But because the way it was done was pretty bad. It was perhaps a spur-of-the-moment thing Tanmay chose to do but it didn’t come out very well. It was unfair to make personal comments about Ms Mangeshkar and to use abusive language through the Sachin face-swap. Not done. Not cool. Tanmay Bhat is an intelligent comedian, one of the best India has produced in recent years. Him coming up with something as unimaginative as this is sad, given his talent.

All the same, I am completely against the remarks some have made about Tanmay. To quote a few:

  1. CBFC head honcho ‘His Sleaziness’ Pahlaj Nihalani called for Tanmay to be booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), which is usually used to book organised crime and terror syndicates. I want to know, Mr Nihalani, what is that gets you so high? What is it that you smoke? Are you out of your mind? Okay. He did a stupid thing. Sure. That’s not  organised crime, you clot!
  2. Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has decided to file an FIR against Tanmay. MNS leader Ameya Kopekar declared that Tanmay will not be allowed to hold shows and that he won’t be able to come out of his house, apart from the fact that he’ll be thrashed. Well, no surprises there. Parties like the MNS know only to resort to hooliganism and violence if something is against their liking. And their lust for power is incredible. How many seats do they have in the Assembly again?
  3. The Shiv Sena has called Tanmay ‘mentally deranged’. Well, he’s not the only one. You’ve got a fair few in your ranks.
  4. The BJP and Congress also said their bit. Seems like of your leaders are rocking the party!
  5. People like Anupam Kher and Riteish Deshmukh also lashed out at Tanmay, saying that what he did was not comedy. Cool. Lovely. So, Kya Kool Hain Hum and Kya Super Kool Hain Hum were comedies? I didn’t know the objective of comedy was to objectify women. Glad we got that sorted.

There were many other outrageous reactions all over social media and media in general. Understandable. Somewhat. After all, he went after two adored icons of India. The thing is, the issue has been blown up far too much! There are more important issues that are troubling the country right now:

  1. The attacks on African students, which Minister of State for the Ministry of External Affairs Gen (retd) VK Singh stupidly called a ‘minor scuffle’. We can’t complain about racism abroad if we behave like this. Isn’t there a saying: Jaisa karm karoge, waisa phal milega? Also, six Africans attacked an Ola cab driver for refusing to take more than four passengers. This issue is not going to die out soon. We need to change our way of thinking.
  2. The Congress Party’s increasing stupidity, which makes one wonder how the hell they managed to scrounge 44 seats in the Lok Sabha Elections.
  3. The drought problems in Central and South India. Politicians are wasting outrageous amounts of water for their needs in the very areas where there is no water.
  4. The gangrape and murder of a 15-year old girl in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh. We are clearly not doing enough to stop these crimes. And the system’s stupid in any case.

The point here is that there are issues that deserve the spotlight but aren’t getting it. Also, since we are talking about comedy being found insulting, I despise the sexist remarks Kapil Sharma makes on his show. Why is he never questioned about his way of doing things? Yes, Tanmay insulted Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar. The thing is that these icons are beyond image-tarnishing. We are behaving as if a stupid video will diminish their contribution to their respective fields and to the country. So, chill. Also, why has nobody said Chhod do, bachcha hai for the twenty-eight year old Tanmay? Almost everyone’s ripped into him. But did we care so much when a certain Mulayam Singh Yadav, then 72, said of the rapists from the December 16th 2012 Delhi Gangrape: Ladke hain, galti ho jaati hai. If could tolerate that bullshit, we can certainly tolerate Tanmay’s remarks.

Thank you for reading! My name is Varun Bhakay.

PS: Sachin Tendulkar is a way better cricketer than Virat Kohli. So long!

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Varun Bhakay Writing 2016


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