I am no fan of Aamir Khan and his exaggerated affectations as the thinking actor, or the man with the human touch who did Satyamev Jayate out of sheer kindness and cunning compassion without worrying about adequate recompense. No sir, everyone deserves to be paid for every little bit they do, especially on prime time TV and even more so, if it is to unsheath the sorry pockmarks of the India Shining malaise. But I am with Aamir Khan on this whole expletive-laden roast that was yanked off YouTube after FIRs began to be registered like rain on a balmy Delhi morning in July. Freedom of speech, my foot.
Will these gentlemen of AI[Expletive] speak like they did with their families or with their children within their hearing? Mummy, f**k you, b***n ki l**d, of course they won’t? Why cry measly smart-ass tears on how their voices are being throttled and how their freedom of speech and expression are being trampled? And then take out another smart apology while rubbing it in for those who didn’t get the Deepika-Ranveer in-joke.
Only the US Constitution’s first amendment promises unimpeded and unconditional freedom of speech and expression. Americans can burn the US flag, so can Nicaraguans, Iranians, Arabs, Indians and Pakistanis. Despite being so magnanimous in offering this right, the second amendment protects the right of people to keep and bear arms. Well, make what you can of it. The first amendment allows you to crack a mighty ugly, insulting joke and protects you but it doesn’t stop the aggrieved from taking a chance at you like William Tell. You die, then the law will swing into action. Even the second amendment is not unlimited.
The thing about everyday life in India, especially in the urban centres, both north and south, is that tony young boy-man folk think it’s cool to mouth a few abuses like the rickshawala does. The women folk do so too but in closer circles. The rickshawala, if indeed he curses, didn’t go to sweet public schools with climate-controlled classrooms. He possibly didn’t get to complete his schooling. So why ape the poor man’s bad habits?
The rights of freedom of speech and expression in India are to ensure the absolute State doesn’t quash the citizens’ right to say something which the State doesn’t like. Abuses and curses have been heard several times over, across centuries in many languages. To support the right to spout abuse as the cornerstone of liberal thought is shutting one’s eyes to the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Aamir Khan said the right thing, to counter him with more asterisked/asteriskable cuss words is lame, sorry, and not funny at all. If it is, maybe your parents should have brought you up better.