How long does it take to offend a random person from the street your house lies on? Not very long, it appears.
As the comedian wakes to what seems like the brightest morning of his life, he recalls what has been its best night. The standing ovation he had received in only his third show on stage still rings in his ears, reinforcing his belief in following his sole passion. And just as he picks up his phone to check the number of views a snippet of his performance has managed to garner, he realises it is probably not the ovation that is ringing in his ears. He goes to the window and as he places his hands on the sill, a stone passes right by his ear, striking his laptop and smashing its screen to smithereens. A protest, outside his house? Is it about a joke from last night? Which one? He goes back, watches his video and reads the comments. All of them, he decides.
How long does it take to offend a random person from the street your house lies on? Not very long, it seems. The past few years have seen a considerable increase in the difficulty one might have in voicing one’s opinion if it is contrary to popular belief. From cartoonists being arrested for strips that offended the dispensation to film directors having to apologise for having used the word ‘Bombay’ in public, recent news is filled with incidents ranging from the stupid to the preposterous.Abstention, perhaps, is no longer an option. You must have an opinion on everything, for you can only be one of two opposites (God made you that way). You are either pro or anti-dispensation, nationalist or anti-national, a Potterhead or ignored. Grey, it seems, shall soon cease to be- all we know and think will be either black or white.
And, as with all that is wrong with the world, introspection is the way ahead. So, while our dear comedian figures a way to handle the many FIRs he has become a part of overnight (public machinery works unbelievably fast in such cases), it is our duty to ensure our world returns to its ways of free, peaceful, multilateral dialogue.
Also published at DTU Times.