The adult Indian comedy group All India Bakchod has millions of followers but they have often received flak for going over the board with their comedy. Firstly, when they organised a roast called All India Bakchod Knockout Championship featuring Karan Johar, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor in 2014 and more recently in May 2016 when the group’s co-founder Tanmay Bhat made fun of cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar. In ‘Dialogue @ Nation Next with Subhash Ghai,’ the legendary filmmaker expressed his views on AIB and the way comedy is done today in India. Ghaisaab said: “Life is like a house. Every house has a bathroom, a drawing room and a bedroom. Bedroom is your personal space; it’s messy! You relax there and at times even your close friends can come in to your bedroom. Drawing room is the space where you meet and talk to people at large. And then there is bathroom. You are totally private in the bathroom. Even your mother or your siblings are not allowed to enter when you’re in there. The point is – you cannot bring your bathroom in your drawing room on the pretext of freedom of expression! Kapil Sharma does comedy and makes everybody laugh without using any cuss words. He has fans across India. It’s not necessary that only by keeping your name as ‘Bakchod’ and using cuss words, you can make people laugh. I’m not talking just about AIB. My point is that whether this prevalent practice to make people laugh in this way is right? If it is happening in some cities today, it may happen in 100 cities of India tomorrow! That’s my question to you, whether this kind of humour should be allowed to reach the small towns of our country or not? Should we be creating this tradition or creating this kind of an extra avenue in the name of entertainment? Should it be encouraged by the government, by the society, by the law and by us or not? These questions need to be put on the table for debate! There are pole dances in the US and naked dances in Bangkok. But people over there are not as sensitive as Indians. If they watch pole dances or naked shows, they take it as a momentary thrill and go back to their routine lives again. They don’t get affected. But Indians can be affected as a big part of the population today is at an impressionable age. If we really want this, then we should educate our children on an international level where they learn all kind of things and don’t get affected. If this culture has to grow, it has to grow gradually. So, I’m not really commenting on AIB, they did an experiment with the roast, and it became successful in its own way. There are many people who loved it and there are many who hated it. I’m just saying that whether this should be encouraged or now should be put to debate!”
P.S. This piece is a part of Team Nation Next interaction with Subhash Ghai.