AIB knockout– Expletives aren’t ‘cool’, ‘funny’ dear celebrities!

By Gayatri Sankar | Last Updated: Feb 03, 2015, 13:18 PM IST

Last year, Deepika Padukone made a loud noise against a media house for using a cleavage revealing picture of hers with a titillating caption. Remember the occasion when she took pride in being a woman?

One of her tweets then even read, “Don’t talk about Woman's Empowerment when YOU don't know how to RESPECT Women!” Alas! Irony died a thousand deaths when the same lady, who became the voice of several voiceless women on earth, laughed her heart out at every sexist joke cracked by the esteemed set of “comics” at the AIB Knockout organised by a bunch of “cool”, “talented” people who think being abusive is “funny”.

And it certainly can’t be called “just-for-fun-and-laughter” when the name of a veteran actress is dragged while cracking a joke loaded with sexual connotations.

It is not so much about the jokes but the way they are projected to be “cool” and “funny”.

Not just Deepika, Sonakshi Sinha and Alia Bhatt too were present from Bollywood’s “youth brigade”, falling off their seats out of laughter! And what were they laughing at? On expletives generously mouthed by each of the persons present on stage including youth icons- Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. Yes, expletives have now become sort of colloquial for most of the youth. But more often than not, they sound preposterous!

Civility and courteousness are as dead as the dodo. And when celebrity youth icons participate in such shows, they do endorse the use of cuss words. It is certainly not okay to drag in mothers and sisters and shame them through your tongue!

Even a certain Mr Karan Johar, whom ambitious actors die to work with, had least inhibitions uttering words that were indeed scandalous. What kind of role models are they, who encourage such filthy language?

Chetan Bhagat took to Twitter in defence of the AIB Knockout. He tweeted:

“If they are going to probe AIB roast for abusive language, they will also need to probe every college hostel in this country (sic).”

Mr Bhagat, the issue is not so much about the expletives that were used on the platform but the endorsement of such language by celebrities, who in their own respective spheres have a certain reach and power to influence people. As public personalities, each of them has certain responsibilities towards the public at large. The jokes were not just about sexuality and sex, but beyond. The ISIS was mentioned in one of the jokes.

A joke on a popular film critic present there said: “Every time you call yourself a journalist, ISIS beheads a real one”. The joke continues thus: “Alia in the front row has no idea what the f*** ISIS is....”

If anyone thinks such a remark is cool, then there’s nothing that can infuse sense in them. And the absurdity goes on as the so-called “roasters” poke fun at people’s body types, their complexion and everything else.

Deepika’s timeline on Twitter which was flooded with an avalanche of tweets supporting her stance against the leading publication for using “cleavage” revealing pic, had heaped praises on AIB knockout.

Her tweet read:

“The #AIBKnockout is the coolest funniest show I have EVER witnessed! (sic).”

My question to Ms Padukone is whether she is okay with men using abusive words loaded with sexual connotations which in Hindi are referred to as “Ma-Behen ki gaali”. How can she be so selective when it comes to issues related to woman empowerment? Also the film industry where she hails from uses women as “item girls” and has no qualms projecting them as “tandoori murgi” and glorifying their sexuality by highlighting their “jawani”.

Even a layman uses expletives. Just as politicians are expected to conduct themselves in a certain way, celebrities who are hailed as youth icons too must act responsibly. If news channels can have a debate over the cuss words mouthed by politicians, then why should film personalities who openly encourage the same be spared?

At a time when women are being sexually objectified and the plight of women is only deteriorating with time, such programmes only devaluate the position of women in the society, as most expletives are an insult to femininity.