30 November, 2020

Popular Paints Of Prejudice

My personal act—walking out of that comedy show—became a public stance because many people related to the problem of ‘colourism’ in India

Photograph by Getty Images
Popular Paints Of Prejudice
outlookindia.com
2017-04-22T11:53:58+05:30

Recently I walked out of a comedy show because in the name of “roasting”, I was being targeted for my skin tone. I had gone there to promote my film, but the jibes were prejudiced, and neither original nor funny. To begin with, the atmosphere of the “comedy” had already been vitiated by a flood of rape jokes. All in all I had a visceral reaction and felt suffocated by the goings on. Even after I got back home, I was deeply troubled and wondered about the role of mass culture in a democracy and who the “masses” are.

I don’t believe in censorship, but then I do wonder about how free should free speech be? Is free speech just about defending the right to offend? Offend, yes, but we must ask to what end the ­offence and who benefits from it. In a complex ­democracy like India, these are basic questions that everyone should ask.

One day I was reading a survey about a premier educational institute in India and it reminded me of a famous quote from Charlotte Bronte: “Prejudices, it is well known,...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


More from Tannishtha Chatterjee


Latest Magazine

December 07, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section