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Indians need to stop blindly respecting things, says comedy group Aisi Taisi Democracy

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The comedy group highlighted the hypocrisy in Indian society and the importance of pushing the envelope when it comes to humour.

Noida: In a country like India which is home to extreme hypocrisy, the current culture of blind respect for things needs to end, a member of comedy group Aisi Taisi Democracy said Tuesday.

“This whole business of respect…you don’t choose your country, your religion, your caste, or your parents. Yet you spend your whole life fighting for it – my country is best, my religion is best, my caste is best,” Sanjay Rajoura said at the innaugural Democracy Wall event.

Rajoura also highlighted the importance of satire in creating productive dialogue in society.

Our biggest duty is to keep on pushing the envelope, and to develop an audience that is more willing to be accepting of humour and satire, and that questions the men in power. You have to poke fun at everything,” he said in conversation with ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta.

Democracy Wall is a monthly free speech campus initiative organised by ThePrint in collaboration with Facebook. The first event at Amity University campus in Noida featured Aisi Taisi Democracy, actor Richa Chadha, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien.

Pointing to the state of Indian democracy today, another member of the group, Varun Grover, said, “People have to deal with a lack of democracy even at home, where there is so much oppression.”

He said people were subject to constant moral policing, in his case by his extended family.

“Every time the Nirodh condom ad used to play before the 8.30 pm news on Doordarshan, my brother and I would go get water. We have gone to get water so many times that even now whenever the song used in the advertisement plays, I get thirsty,” he said.

Grover said that Indians have come up with euphemisms like “good news” and “issue” to talk about conceiving a child, because no one in India dares to openly speak about sex.

Rahul Ram, a member of the group and also a member of the band Indian Ocean, said that incidents like the violence over the film Padmaavat are what deter people from exercising their right to free speech.

“If people will burn buildings because they disagree with a film, and when the one force that is supposed to have law and order puts their hands up, then obviously people will get scared,” Ram said.

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