The Newshour Debate: No Jokes Please – Part 2 (14th August 2014)

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Several MPs Thursday (August 14) voiced objections to radio jockeys (RJs) making fun of the lawmakers and cracking crude jokes on them, prompting the government to say that it would look into the matter. The issue was raised by actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan in the Rajya Sabha. “They (comments) are absolutely objectionable, very bad and the latest thing is that they have started giving news of Parliament and they mimic a lot of MPs who have spoken,” she said. Asking whether I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar was aware of language used and jokes made by RJs, she said, “So, are you going to do something about it because this is really not palatable?” Tarun Vijay (BJP) and Satish Chandra Misra (BSP) associated with the views of Jaya Bachchan. Outside Parliament, noted lyricist and Rajya Sabha MP Javed Akhtar said one should not be extra sensitive as long as it was not vulgar. He, however, said that things should also not cross the level of decency. Asked for his reaction on RJs mimicking Parliamentarians, he said, “As long as it is not vulgar, it is not crude, it is not insulting anybody, one should not be extra sensitive about this thing. If it is comic, if it is in good humour then one should laugh it off.” Javadekar termed the issue as “serious” and said there were complaints of private channel RJs using “double meaning” talks. “Regarding commentary, what she (Bachchan) has said is absolutely serious and and we have an Electronic Media Monitoring Centre, which is monitoring this. We are contemplating how to rectify this rising trend after monitoring the reports at the earliest,” he said. Later the Minister tweeted: “I never said we object to mimicry on MPs. Anybody can Mimic us. People can make fun; we never mind. Today Jayaji and other MPs raised objections on vulgarity and double meaning jokes by RJs. I said ‘we’ll look into it”.

In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists — Madhukar Jetley, Advisor to Govt of UP in Externally Aided Projects Dept; Sanjay Jha, Spokesperson, Congress; Kirit Somaiya, MP, Lok Sabha, BJP; Kunwar Danish Ali, Spokesperson & Natl General Secy, JD(S); Suren Sundaram, RJ, Radio Mirchi; Sudhir Tailang, Cartoonist; Ashish Shakya, Comedian; Suresh Menon, Comedian; Abhinandan Sekhri, Co – Founder, Newslaundry — discuss whether mimicking an MP is a crime.


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