Why AIB apologised to the Christian community

Both AIB and the archdiocese agreed on one important thing: that these matters are best solved by frank conversation, not rabble-rousing.

 |  4-minute read |   09-02-2015
  • ---
    Total Shares

Amidst the din over the AIB Knockout, we’ve had the opportunity to reach out to some groups who have had questions about the jokes and the taste they were made in. Our conversations with members of the government (and other political parties) have been civil and frank. Authorities at multiple levels have heard us out patiently and open-mindedly, and we thank them for that. In places where we expected hostility, we have found instead a heartening willingness to engage.

The same holds true for religious communities that the AIB Knockout may have offended. For example we’ve had extensive discussions with members of the Christian community. We also met with members of the Archdiocese of Mumbai. We explained that we didn’t set out to hurt or persecute the Christian community (or indeed any community) when we wrote and performed those jokes. We explained that while writing jokes, no matter the subject, we never intend to hurt anyone, though we now realise that as an unfortunate consequence of the nature of our profession, we sometimes do, and we’re sorry about that. In turn, the kind archdiocese graciously viewed that we have every right to make jokes and speak our mind in a democracy however, that exact same democracy also gives members of the Christian community the right to be offended or hurt by our comments, and more importantly to raise their voices to point that out.

We offered an unconditional apology to the archdiocese and the Christian community for any offence caused to religious sentiments as a result of our jokes. The kind archdiocese acknowledged the fact that we have never been against any community, nor do we bear any ill will towards any community.

AIB believes and supports with complete certainty the notion that every community has the right to live with dignity, honour, and freedom from any form of persecution. We would also like to reiterate that the jokes at the AIB Knockout were not intended as a form of persecution or malice towards any community, for that is not who we are, or what we stand for.

It may be relevant to mention here that during our interaction with the archdiocese, both parties agreed on another important thing; these matters are best solved by frank, patient conversation, not by pointless rabble-rousing or politicisation or by taking up adversarial positions for the sake of eyeballs. So we’d like to thank members of the Christian community and the archdiocese for sitting down with us, and hearing us out, and giving us a chance to explain and apologise. It isn’t a courtesy people give each other nearly often enough.

Here's the text of Archdiocese of Bombay's post citing AIB's letter

The members of the All India Bakchod Comedy Company met with Bp. Agnelo Gracias, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and tendered an unconditional apology. Bp. Agnelo Gracias on behalf of the Archdiocese of Bombay accepted the unconditional apology and in the spirit of understanding and reconciliation stated that the Archdiocese accepts the AIB apology and considers this matter closed. The Content of the apology letter is given here below.

To,

Cardinal Oswald Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay

We, Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Ashish Shakya, Rohan Joshi at AIB hereby offer an unconditional apology to the entire Christian community for any offense that may have been caused to its members as a result of the AIB Knockout. While performing our acts, no matter the subject, we never intend to hurt anyone, though we as an unfortunate consequence of the nature of our profession, we sometimes do. We are sorry.

We would also like to urge that we have the utmost respect for all religions and community and have never been against any community, nor do we bear any ill will of any kind towards any community. We also believe and support with complete certainty the notion that every community has the right to live with dignity, honour, and freedom from any form of persecution. We would also like to reiterate that the jokes at the AIB Knockout were not intended as a form of persecution or malice towards the Christian community or any other community, for that is not who we are, or what we stand for.

We’d also like to thank the Archdiocese of Mumbai for taking the time out to get its points across to us through patient, reasoned conversations with us about this issue. We are deeply grateful for the sincerity and dignity with which we’ve been received and hope that more debates and cultural arguments across the spectrum can be made with this same spirit of understanding and civility.

With sincere apologies,

AIB

(First published on All India Bakchod's official Facebook page)

Writer

DailyO DailyO @dailyo_

Online opinion, analysis and blog platform from the India Today Group.

Like DailyO Facebook page to know what's trending.