It seems the controversy over the AIB roast of Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor will not die down anytime soon.
India’s first ever roast raised quite a few eyebrows and drew in criticism from all corners, the government, police, citizens and a few Bollywood stars as well. Aamir Khan was one such person who didn’t mince is words and gave everyone a piece of his mind towards the derogatory language that was used in the roast. Khan publicly showed dismay at the language used and cited it as ‘violent’. He also stated that he had scolded Arjun Kapoor and Karan Johar and was not in favor of such language or lewd jokes being thrown around. The PK star’s remarks were responded to in kind by international stand-up comedian Russell Peters who openly criticized the actor and challenged his artistry. Peters went so far as to tell Khan to ‘shut up’ and mind his own business.
“I respect everyone’s opinion. For me freedom of speech and expression is an important right and should be protected at all costs. But I also feel that freedom comes with responsibility which should be self-exercised. It’s unfortunate that caught between the rightwing fascists and the ‘no-holdsbarred’ faction, the moderates are in danger of losing their voice. I’m aware that if you sign up for the Roast, you sign up to insult each other. But, in this case, even those who hadn’t signed up were being targeted, like Farida Jalal, Reema Lagoo and a beautiful, young girl I love dearly.
The young girl whom I’ve known since she was a kid, was the butt of racist and sexist jokes. She did not even know that a live audience was watching this and couldn’t protect herself. That is unfair! This is what I meant when I described the show as “violent”. Films which depict violence are fictional but this young girl is real. So my reaction was more emotional than moralistic.”
The young girl Aamir Khan was referring to in this excerpt of his was the sister of Salman Khan Arpita Khan. She was made the butt of the jokes when Arjun Kapoor was taunted, due to his romantic association with the actress in the past. However, the jokes were not aired and were edited out from the Youtube edition of the video.
Aamir also subliminally responded to Russell Peters shut up call to him by stating,”And when someone uses the words “shut up”, it makes me believe that these people are certainly not a part of the group that is for freedom of speech.”
It remains to be seen how Aamir’s justification will be viewed and responded to by the Bollywood stars. Comedian Russell Peters might have something important to say or then again, he won’t even respond at all!