Save AIB Knockout: License to Offend with Consent


Having the audacity of committing blasphemy by not just questioning but speaking against the age-old Catholic faith that the Earth is at rest and is also the center of the universe, was Galileo. Thanks to his profanity, and to his telescope that helped him observe the opposite, that we have a scientific explanation for our solar system (to some extent and definitely more believable).

In the process, he did end up offending the masses and was hurled abuses at. But who is to be blamed – the people, who were fed with a non-scientific thought that relied on traditional beliefs, convenient guesses and fads or Galileo, who exercised his *assumed* right of freedom to question a pre-fed thought and be able to prove it wrong?

Now, when I put this statement in defense of AIB Knockout, we’ll agree that they neither did something as ground breaking as defining our universe nor as offensive as questioning the Catholic Faith. Their profanity can be limited to the act of having the courage to bring the usual *light-minded* conversations that the youth in India likes to have at the social hangout locations or college canteens and upload it on a social media platform, that allows a users to choose their content with a bit more liberty than television.

If AIB were accused of not being as witty, funny and original in this video, as in all of their preceding acts, it would have still been right. This is something that they have agreed to, in an hour-long #AskAIB Hangout session, which they aired a few days after airing the main video. If AIB are accused of not putting an age filter in the video for the under 18, again the accusation seems right. However, the biggest problem is the question being raised on the very format of this show, which is about being able to roast *mock at* someone, in public but, with consent.

Homour has different forms and one form cannot be better than the other. Comedians don’t pay the audience to watch their shows; rather, the crowd pays them. The Stand-up comedians are famous for target picking people from the audience and literally, people crave for a seat that has more visibility, helping them in getting picked and being mocked at. The important thing here is the consent. The good spirit of humour that allows you to take a stab on your own self *meaning mock at yourself* and thus, be able to mock at others more vehemently.

We’re all grown ups here – the roast master is the same guy who is known for making films for families – like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. What we saw was an act, a joke, and a performance – can we treat it like one?

Profanity, offense, insult are indeed some of the most negative words, by definitions on the oxford dictionary and also otherwise. It’s a sheer lack of vocabulary that prevents us from defining the format of shows like AIB Knockout, because of which we are forced to associate them with an act of offense. What we need to understand is that the consent to be mocked at, is a simple form of light humour. I am sure the college grads know what I’m saying. For the older ones, go back to your times and for the younger ones, you’ll know what I’m saying in a few years.

Let’s speak more about this. Speaking will help. These guys bring a smile to our face; we must help them in being able to do that more often!

2 thoughts on “Save AIB Knockout: License to Offend with Consent

  1. Oh come on. The ‘consent’ argument does not work. Farida Jalal claims there was no consent. Freedom of speech is essential and needs to be protected, but that does not preclude you from a moral responsibility to not perpetuate prejudices. It is also quite hypocritical that one of the members of AIB complains on Twitter of being made fun of because of his obesity, because that is what quite a few of the jokes were – sexist/racist/ableist.


    • The same guy you’re talking about continues to take jokes on his obesity, in good spirit. Remember the joke, “Tanmay thank you for having us inside you! “??

      As far as Farida Jalal argument is concerned, I partly agree with you. Do we take consent from manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi, now Kiran Bedi, before mocking at then publicly? Who gives us the authority to make trolls on them for their actions? But they are just trolls right, we all know there’s nothing to over react. That’s what it is with this format of the show, roast. I wish they had stays away from making jokes in people not present in the room, because then they can’t get backfired on and scores don’t settle. I wish they had done something’s better, but this is the first time that humour is being able to raise questions in India and I will put down my foot in saving satire and homour.


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