Of harmless humour & manufactured anger

Authoritarian regimes know how to handle criticism. It is comedy they have a problem with. During the 1975-77 Emergency, the government’s pressing concern was not the global condemnation of India’s suppression of civil liberties. Instead, the regime was busy with the destruction of the print of a satirical film called Kissa Kursi Ka. Or take the more recent case of comedian Munawar Faruqui who was arrested on January 1 in Indore, on the basis of a complaint made by the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA. The complaint said that Mr Faruqui “hurt religious sentimen.....

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