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India Upset over Gandhi on YouTube

Another week, another national government demanding that a clip on YouTube be censored. First it was the Brazilian courts, which ended up reversing its decision. This time it’s India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which is up in arms over standup comedian Gautham Prasad’s sketch of Gandhi doing a strip tease.

Blog Pass the Roti deconstructed the media accounts, which seem to have inaccurately asserted that the clips showed Gandhi advocating violence. I think they might have gotten Prasad’s bit mixed up with the classic fake “Gandhi II” trailer from Weird Al Yankovic’s movie UHF. Prasad posted an explanation of his sketch on his personal site.

According to press reports, Google is reviewing the clip (which is currently flagged as “potentially offensive”). Meanwhile, India took “serious exception” to the airing of portions of the clip on two television networks, and also threatened to block YouTube if the clip wasn’t taken down. What I find hilarious is that in standup lingo the term used to describe things that you shouldn’t make fun of derives from Gandhi’s Hindu faith — “sacred cow.”

8 Responses to “India Upset over Gandhi on YouTube”


    I believe there nothing wrong to this caricature and M.K. Gandhi dancing. Mnay don;t know, gandhi was not happy with Kasturba and he wanted to marry Tagor’s daughter. I think he that, Gandhi has destrioed the country india. He is almost naked with a lion cloth and wanted to keep india naked and poor.he is the man or demon may be, suggested to Neheru to absorb his son-in law a Islamic fellow Khan and arranged wedding with Indiara Gandhi, it was mixed religion, Gandhi adopted Khan as his son and Neheru was pleased and cultivated M.K. Gandhi as Bapuji and father of India, it was a gift against gift to M.K. Gandhi and cunnigly Neheru became first PM of India. Till now the poors in india are facing maximum hardship and political leaders are exploiting the poor dalits in the name gandhibaba.I think the days are not far, gandhi will be rejected in india and the statue will faul down like saddam in iraq.Therefore I don’t think the vediclip is wrong and rapidely the truth is coming out by braking the lid of sealed can.

  2. Well, I made the sacred cow comment alluding to the fact that, if any standup would understand the meaning behind the term, a comedian of south asian ancestry would be most likely to.

    I’m an advocate for freedom of expression, often even in extreme cases. Gandhi is a towering figure in human history, and I deeply respect and revere his legacy myself, especially in light of his influence of Dr. Martin Luther King who’s birthday I just celebrated.

    There is no requirement that anyone watch the video, or even visit YouTube. It’s a tame sketch in questionable taste — raising an uproar over it gives it more credit than it’s due.

    The artist in question gave his explanation for his decision, and while it may not be satisfying to many, it’s his decision to make, and I’ll stand by him on that. Maybe that’s an uncrossable cultural divide, but it’s one that has to be addressed in the new global market for ideas.

  3. “What I find hilarious is that in standup lingo the term used to describe things that you shouldn’t make fun of derives from Gandhi’s Hindu faith — “sacred cow7.” ”
    Yes this and lots of other English words are derived from the period of British rule in India. The meaning of the term ‘sacred cow’ shows that there are cultures where it is not completely ok to be completely ‘irreverent’, something that is probably not apparent in homogenised societies such as the US. That you find this hilarious suggests that you may want to read up to broaden your horizons a bit, if you seek a global audience for your musings.