Consent to be ridiculed

Vidyut, blogger, can take a jokeVidyut, blogger, can take a joke

Among the various objections raised to the AIB Roast that has got into trouble over profanity and hurting sentiments and such was the issue of people being offended by being joked about. Normally you’d tell such people to suck it up, but when combined with humor that is already targeted for being offensive, it becomes a sort of sentimental cocktail like Farida Jalal being embarrassed at the idea of a joke about someone jerking off to her or Anil Kapoor angry over his accent being ridiculed.

I do think All India Bakchod should have taken the consent of those they ridiculed beyond the scope of those present on the stage, at the same time, I imagine it is not so easy to know who would be offended and who would not.

As an endorsement of free speech, as well as a subtle reminder to comedians by merely existing, I’m proposing that people who are staunch supporters of free speech (or merely good sports) declare openly that they would not react adversely to being ridiculed or otherwise targeted in a manner that is not intended to cause them harm or threat.

I hereby state that I am never going to file a police complaint over being joked about. Even if I don’t like the joke and rip you to shreds on Twitter. I am not famous outside Twitter, so it isn’t particularly useful in terms of a personality you can joke about, but who knows when a ridiculable blogger comes in handy in these touchy times?

Please note that this consent does not extend to family members or anyone other than me – whom you still ought to ask independently (if I ever get that famous :p).

Also, I hope that more interesting people to ridicule get the hint and state their open consent to free speech – including offensive speech.

I would suggest that you add your name in the comments, if you’re fine being ridiculed and will not seek legal recourse if it happens. If you aren’t famous, describe yourself a bit 😀 If you are famous, that is really superb. Such people are in short supply, it seems.

If you write or post elsewhere, feel free to leave a link in the comments, with your name.

If lots of people are interested in stating such consent in the interest of upholding Free Speech in a country where it is already shaky (and such consent will go a long way in taking the “offensive” out of the crappy laws)… we could perhaps have a directory of sorts, where people ridiculing anyone could simply check if their targets are listed.

That said, this is more a “speaking up” move than procedure. People can and should still be able to ridicule anyone regardless of consent, but I imagine having consenting people for the worse jokes can take some of the post publishng worry out of the planning.

Normally this shouldn’t be a worry, but India’s laws are sort of fucked up and it is easy for pissed people to screw your happiness.

There are too many people speaking up because they are offended, and not enough people explicitly leading the right to ridicule from the other end of the stick. Maybe this will give more people an idea.

Can you take a joke? Can you take a terrible joke? Can you take an offensive joke? Can you respond to a joke you simply cannot take without resorting to silencing others – even about you?

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

About the Author

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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