By Weedward and Bongstein May. 31, 2016
After the furore over a comic’s video snowballed into a crisis, the government has rolled out a set of guidelines to protect our “national treasures”.
Hours after a controversy broke out over a comedian’s alleged “bad jokes”, Arré’s investigative team was tipped off about the formation of a new department under the aegis of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry called the Department of Offensive Broadcasting (DOOB). DOOB’s top agenda is to put together a manual called the Journal of Information of Nationalist Thought, or JOINT, intended to educate people on how not to “aggrieve, anger, antagonise, annoy, disturb, disgust, disturb, defame, decry, denigrate, exasperate, gall, horrify, hurt, irritate, outrage, offend, provoke, rile, shock, or upset the sentiments of others, through any form of communication – written, oral, enacted, sung, dramatised, televised or performed”.
Through JOINT, DOOB aims to specifically address comedians, actors, directors, authors, motivational speakers, writers, journalists, RJs, VJs, DJs, news anchors, sports commentators, YouTubers, Facebook commentators, and anybody else who has anything to say about anyone.
At least 1,998 pages of the 2,000-page manual list don’ts, with one page devoted to the dos. A few prominent don’ts include:
* Thou shalt not make jokes, limericks, one-liners or parodic statements about any of the 33,000,0000 deities or people named after them.
* Thou shalt not humourise, satirise or parodise the attempts of our great leaders and not-so-great leaders to make Hindustan great again.
* Thou shalt not glorify peaceful protests, candlelight marches, student uprisings, mass movements, or any such forms of dissent that bring shame to the fundamentals on which our Constitution was built.
* Thou shalt not lampoon any person, place, animal, or inanimate object deemed as a national treasure, under the National Treasures Act, 2016. For the list of said treasures, refer to the third page of any tabloid.
“The main aim of Indian comedy is to make people laugh using innuendos and potty humour.”
* Thou shalt not indulge in any form of entertainment intended to elicit laughter without first answering the question, “Would this look good on Shri Kapil Sharmaji’s show?”
* Thou shalt not deviate from the type of comedy displayed in seminal works such as Mastizaade and the numerous iterations of Kya Kool Hai Hum while writing scripts. Such works serve as benchmarks for comedy and humour for the esteemed DOOB.
* Thou shalt not use words that imply fornication with either one’s mother or sister in public, unless your name is Tusshar and the character you portray suffers from speech impairment that makes words sound like gibberish with only expletives making sense.
The only dos mentioned in the manual are:
* Thou can make jokes about people less fortunate than oneself, and attack them at tollbooths.
* Thou should, whenever possible, make derogatory statements about minorities and women.
*Thou should endeavour to use sexual innuendos of the lowest order – for such humour, conforms to our national sensibilities.
Weedward and Bongstein managed to contact DOOB supremo and the architect of JOINT, Shri Nahlaj Pihalani, but he declined to comment. They did, however, receive unsolicited comments from an award-winning actor who requested anonymity. “I have received nine national awards for comedy and haven’t offended a single person. The main aim of Indian comedy is to make people laugh using innuendos and potty humour,” he said.
After receiving no response to this comment from W&B, the actor flooded them with texts that simply said, “Say naa something.” W&B later blocked him on Twitter.
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