If people stuck to the reaction, ‘silly humour,’ it would have discouraged similar acts from artistes. But getting offended by it, and calling for Tanmay’s arrest, will only spawn more silly humour.
In another recent incident, people didn’t read Gayatri Jayaraman’s non-literal meaning of Urban Poor. Instead, they grabbed the literal meaning of poor, and found the article insensitive to India’s poor.
In the first case audience reaction encourages poor art. In the second case, it discourages good art.
In the latter, even journalists were nitpicking the story. And rival news site, Scroll.in, came up with an uninsightful, vapid, artless reply.
Democracy, a newly capitalist country and social media have combined to create lots of openings in art. And yet, I’ve come across perhaps one decent piece of writing from Gen-X in a long while: urban poor. Writing that people want to spend time with.
So we have poor art, and an audience unable to appreciate it when it’s good. Or, an audience that cannot separate poor art from good.
With Tanmay, the police have asked Google and Youtube to block his clip.
So instead of ignoring silly art, we use censorship. And the police are examining how Tanmay can face legal action.
When that happens his art gets more popular.
So we have more silly art. And censorship to increase it.
At least we have the Art of Irony.
Democracy, a newly capitalist country, smartphones and social media have combined to create brash people.
And brash people have a distinct trait: They are ready with the RIP tweet even before the celebrity has died.
It's like saying, ‘Hurry up, you should have died already.’ It sounds intelligent.
Exactly how Tanmay does it to Lata.
By evening of today, Lata hasn't heard of Tanmay, nor has she seen the video. So politicians, twitterati and Bollywood have been getting offended on her behalf.
In conversation with a friend today, he tells me about an interview of Russel Peters he watched: Peters says, 'It's easy to be a hit in India; just offend people. I feel like some genius there. In Canada, people ignore me.'
There you are.