Jokes on Kalam lands comedian Vir Das into trouble


The comedian Vir Das has landed himself in a controversy that in turn witnessed police arriving at his show in Delhi’s Siri Fort auditorium.

In an episode, Vir had said something involving the former President A P J Abdul Kalam. But an individual could not accept the joke and took action against the comedian.

 "In one bit, I tell a story about how I performed for the man I consider to be India's coolest president ever—Dr Abdul Kalam. My tribute goes into an outrageous sketch about how Kalam hosts MTV cribs, has swag and defends himself against a fictitious lesbian assault. It's stupid, immature, I take full ownership of it and I think it is funny," the comedian wrote.

Das said a man who had taken umbrage at his words, had approached the latter during the interval of the show. The man told the comedian that the latter "cannot" crack jokes on Kalam. Vir had dismissed the issue for lack of time and did not read much into it. But the issue soon snowballed into something wider and bigger.

Das wrote on his Facebook page what followed next.

"Second half of my show begins and somewhere 20 min into it, policemen have begun showing up to (sic) Siri Fort. I am on stage and I can see policemen backstage, in the control room, and with my crew. My crew is being questioned by police as the show is going on, they are all taken away from their event duties. Trying to explain to them that it's a comedy show, which the police have now begun recording for investigation purposes on phones. To their credit, they are just doing their job... investigating a complaint filed. And more than an investigation 'Humare pass kissi ka phone aaya tha' seems to be the consensus. Clearly, someone with influence was called who then made this call."

Das later decided to end the show quickly for that day.

This issue involving Das happened at a time when the comedy troupe AIB that he works with, has been witnessing troubles left, right and center. He later voiced his opinion.

"The fact that you can use influence to shut down or intimidate any artist or art form that you may not personally agree with is scary. But the fact that the police will back you up without any consequences is a slippery slope and a tool that's prime for misuse."