Yesterday, the first Sunday of May is celebrated as World Laughter Day. It is a day dedicated to humour, a much needed respite in a world which often, unfortunately, is marked by bleak news thanks to the spiral of everyday violence we seem to be caught up in.
Laughter clubs across the city marked the day with zest, adding some punch to their morning programmes. It is time Indians broke the traditional stereotype, which does have some truth, about not being good at humour either in our art movies, books and television, or generally in our lives.
We have seen a steady stream of overseas stand up comics coming in to the city. A number of Indians have taken to stand up comedy, giving more currency to this genre. With our films venturing into bolder, never before territory, we need to have films which give our audiences tasteful humour.
Now is the time to throw out stereotypes, there should be no place for childish scripts that poke fun at people for being too short, too dark, too thin or too fat. We should stop finding movies that ridicule people with a stammer or any other disability funny. That is no longer funny, it is gross.
The same goes with our television soaps and humourous stuff. Let’s strive for the truly brilliant, inspirational and funny stuff. Let the lines shine through so that we allow the world to laugh with us and at us rather than at others.
The depths that the barb slinging we plunged to in this election campaign also gives a pointer of how we need to get much more refined in our humour. Our politicians should have scored with a witty slugfest, sarcasm and above the belt humour, than simply berating each other. On the other hand, cartoonists and the art of cartooning need to flourish.
We are seeing too many instances of artistes including political cartoonists and satirists, being muzzled or threatened in different ways. Whether it is being funny or the ability to be the butt of laughter, let us take the humour to a more mature level witty, biting maybe at times, caustic and self-deprecatory, but always tasteful.