In­dia asks YouTube to block ‘vul­gar’ video

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL -

MUM­BAI: In­dian po­lice said Mon­day they had asked YouTube and Face­book to block a video pok­ing fun at cricket great Sachin Ten­dulkar, spark­ing the coun­try’s lat­est row over free­dom of ex­pres­sion.

Co­me­dian Tan­may Bhat posted the clip, which also mocked fa­mous In­dian movie singer Lata Mangeshkar, on his Face­book page last week, an­ger­ing rightwing politi­cians in Mum­bai who com­plained to po­lice.

Po­lice in the western In­dian city re­ceived two com­plaints — one from a lo­cal politician be­long­ing to Naren­dra Modi’s rul­ing Bhar­tiya Janata Party who said the clip was defam­a­tory.

The other was from Ma­ha­rash­tra Navnir­man Sena, a fringe pro-Marathi party in Mum­bai, which is the cap­i­tal of Ma­ha­rash­tra state, force spokesman San­gram­s­ingh Nis­han­dar said.

“We have sought a le­gal opin­ion. In the mean­time we have writ­ten to YouTube and Face­book to block the above-men­tioned video,” Nis­han­dar told AFP.

In the two-minute clip Bhat, a mem­ber of on­line com­edy group AIB, mim­ics a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Ten­dulkar and Mangeshkar.

He said Mangeshkar, who is 86, looked like she’d been kept in wa­ter for eight days and sug­gested she should die.

Bhat posted a com­ment with the video de­scrib­ing it as “non­sense.”

“Also I obviously love Lata and Sachin, just having some fun,” he wrote.

AIB fell foul of au­thor­i­ties last year when they were at the cen­ter of an ob­scen­ity in­ves­ti­ga­tion over some sex­u­ally ex­plicit jokes in a com­edy “roast” show fea­tur­ing sev­eral Bollywood stars.

In­dia, the world’s largest democ­racy, has long been proud of its tra­di­tion of artis­tic, cul­tural and re­li­gious free­doms but a se­ries of bans re­cently sparked ac­cu­sa­tions of a grow­ing cli­mate of intolerance un­der Hindu na­tion­al­ist PM Modi.

Many so­cial me­dia users ac­cused Bhatt’s video of be­ing vul­gar and un­funny on Mon­day but also de­fended his right to make it.

NOT FUNNY: A screen grab taken from co­me­dian Tan­may Bhat’s video mock­ing Sachin Ten­dulkar and Lata Mangeshkar.

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