Comedy minus malice

Building a truly progressive and tolerant society requires absolute freedom of speech, and not a conditional one (“ > Comedy without malice ”, Feb.21); it should protect and promote contrarian voices. No idea should be too sacrosanct to be made fun of or disagreed with totally. The interesting aspect of stand-up comedy is that despite the laughter value of a joke, it has the potential to relax the rigidities of cultural behaviour and also ignite a meaningful discussion on the ethical aspects of the content of a joke. Only satire has such power to easily invoke a healthy balance to the argumentative atmosphere in a taboo-ridden society such as ours. So, “AIB Roast” should be seen as good start to more such narratives on deeply buried taboos of our culture and society.

Harsha Vardhan K.S.,


It is convenient to say that stand-up comedians “mirror” the taboos, stereotypes and malaises deeply entrenched in a society. In an “open, democratic, secular, free-speaking” society, a pen is mightier than god and deadlier than a missile. But what if the sarcasm the comedian is enacting or playing out is a reflection of prejudices and hatred he himself harbours against a section of society? What if he is portraying the general feeling that society has inherited from the past?

Shashank Jain,

New Delhi

I found it hard to digest the fact that there was an attempt to justify the AIB’s foul-mouthed acts that catered to low-level intellectual perversion in the name of comedy. It was simply unacceptable. Yes, we live in an era where society is now broad-minded and where there is freedom of speech, but trying to justify the AIB’s verbal violence is against India’s moral values.

Pankaj Sharma,


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 6:00:51 am | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/Comedy-minus-malice/article59873376.ece