In a country like India, where taking offence is a national pastime, how political can the comic scene be? Is it okay to make jokes on politicians and their politics, or is everyone too scared of Jaya Bachchan?
We sent email questionnaires to India’s leading comics and satirist to get answers to these questions. We also asked them to rate themselves on our liberal-conservative scale.
Next on our series is Garv Malik. Malik, winner of Comedy Knights at Oasis – BITS, Pilani’s cultural fest in 2013 he was also shortlisted at MTV’s Colors of Youth, 2014 talent hunt. He has performed for comedy groups like East India Comedy.
How political is comedy in India?
A significant part of comedy in India relates to the political scenario. Most of the current events happen because of the government which becomes fodder for our content.
How important is it for comedy to be political?
It gives an entirely new perspective, draws comparisons you could have otherwise never thought of, tells us how bad our current state is, and helps us take ourselves a little less seriously. Also, it’s easier to face challenges and problems if you are laughing at them at the same time.
We know there is a large number of liberal comics (writers and performers) in India. But are there any conservative comics in the country? If yes, please name a few.
If a person is ready to take up a career as risky as stand-up comedy, there is little chance that he or she might have conservative views. Even if they do, it’s a democracy and as long as they don’t force them on others, it shouldn’t be a problem
Where would you place yourself on our liberal–conservative scale?
On a scale of Subramanium Swamy to Raghu of AAP (and of Roadies),
I would put myself away from both of them and let everyone do whatever they want to and sleep with whoever they want to. Put me at zero please.