Skip To Content

    Y'all NEED To Read Shashi Tharoor's Viral Note About Tanmay Bhat And Freedom Of Expression

    "Cracking a bad joke is not against the law; it is bad taste at the most."

    The Tanmay Bhat Snapchat incident has seen a LOT of opinions flying around; some intelligent, most just noise.

    Times Now

    One of the first and most influential voices to defend Bhat came from Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, when he stood up for the freedom of expression.

    Agree completely on need to defend @thetanmay's right to be obnoxious. Democracies don't censor jokes, even bad ones

    Despite criticism, Tharoor stood by his stance that jokes โ€” even bad ones โ€” shouldn't be censored.

    . @chaks1969 @thetanmay No I do not support or endorse other people's ideas of what is funny. I just defend their right to try&fail to amuse

    When the opposition didn't stop, Tharoor wrote a note on Facebook to explain his position on everyone's "right to be obnoxious" and make tasteless jokes.

    Tharoor wrote that he hadn't seen the video but would still stand by his principles, even if he found the jokes crass.

    "I note that many people have conflated my position of principle on Tanmay Bhat's 'right to be obnoxious' with appreciation for his particular brand of satire.

    I have not seen the video, but from what I've read about it, I might not enjoy watching it. For me it is an issue of principle, not the quality of a particular person's humour. What is important to me is to uphold the freedom of expression and the rights of comedians to make jokes, however tasteless. Of course some things are against the law -- communal incitement and hate speeches should be rightfully penalised -- but cracking a bad joke is not against the law; it is bad taste at the most.

    Upholding freedom of expression includes defending the right of people to say things you don't agree with or that you find obnoxious. I don't agree with communist ideas, but I don't go around saying they should be silenced.

    We have not had it in our culture to stifle people's right to voice their opinion, and to do it now in a contentious democracy is dangerous.

    To categorise people on the basis of who we can or cannot joke about is also ridiculous. We have always been open to laughing at those we revere. Let's not deify human beings as being above and beyond criticism, cartoons or jokes."

    Preach, good sir. Preach.


    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form