Gandhi, a pole dance and the GOI

That any government will eventually descend into foolishness is obvious. That they will find any slight offensive is also obvious. So when the government gets really heated up about some random YouTube video showing someone dressed as Mahatma Gandhi doing a pole dance – it’s not out of the ordinary. But what I find priceless are the comments to the article at Rediff. People suddenly want access to YouTube to be banned and apologies to be made by news channels that pointed to the video.

Here’s the link to the offending video (Not Safe For Work). At a personal level, it doesn’t quite appeal to either my sense of humour or raunch, however, I see no reason for it not to exist. If people get so touchy, I wonder if we’ll ever see the likes of The Daily Show in India. Though, I have to admit that the Prem Taneja show on NDTV with all the puppets always provides a good laugh.

PS – I stand corrected, the comments on the YouTube page are even more amusing. Threats to lynch the chap, asking him about his female relatives, telling him that the government will punish him, bodily threats – no end to it really. Here’s the deal, whatever happened to Gandhigiri?

16 Comments

Filed under Governance, India, Media

16 Responses to Gandhi, a pole dance and the GOI

  1. ang

    another classic example of hillarity at its finest:

    “hey the GOI shud also ban youtube… wud they have kept a video if it showed Mr Bush doing pole dance? Ditto for google maps who show all our important plants on the earth site but hide US and China details….. we have to teach all these a lesson by banning those sites altogether. ”

    i doubt these people have any idea about the dozens of dubya parodies being hosted on there :P

    and another comment at rediff marked for deletion:

    “If I express my frank opinion about my intense dislike of that foolish man! Frankly, I hold Nathuram ji as a martyr. Am I to be prosecuted! The Government fails us everyday, it can’t provide education, sanitation and doesn’t check the two evil P’s of the society Pollution and Population – what right does it have to waste time on idiot’s like Gandhiji. It seems only only terrorists in India have the freedom of opinion. I give our PM zero in everything and his Italian side-dish a -100000 ”

    Haven’t looked at the clip at youtube yet, i find the comments at rediff more entertaining :P

  2. Pingback: ?????? - Gilli » Pole Dance by Mahatma Gandhi

  3. ang: Perhaps what I find odd is this “ownership” of Gandhi. Do these people find the idea of a striptease by itself indecent, or the fact that it is supposed to be someone who looks like Gandhi who engages in the act indecent? And you’re right, if anything the West has a grand tradition of democratic ridicule.

  4. Fifth In Line

    Anyone who’s spent even an hour in India should know that for a lot of people the safest place to keep your currency is in the underwear. I wonder how they feel about Gandhi’s image (the one on the currency notes) being placed inside underwear…

    Is there going to be a law against that as well? Are these mobs going to demand then that my local sabziwala stop hoarding hundred rupee notes in his loincloth?

  5. trang

    Tell you what scares me about India, even as I love it. As we ‘rapidly progress & our worlds develop’ the police & the politician have no clue how to run the show. So, they just stop & close-down the events. Look at a city like Bangalore – the parks are all walled, the city shuts at 1130hrs, the roads are jammed, New Year is a damper. And as for cities like Delhi its already simply a world for the rich. The rest just exist besides them.

    The authorities just do not have the time or will to see further down the road and thinking about people mobility, freedom, quality of life & people spaces. Thats a dream. They are just busy with nonsense such as this and keeping a stronghold on their people (votes & power) like raising cattle.

    I don’t know as a general people we are so cool, but anyone in power seems to be so indifferent to those depending upon them?

  6. km

    It’s doubly funny considering our FotN was already half-nekkid.

  7. ang

    that guy’s youtube page is piling with comments…and i hopped over to view the clip and this is what i got shown:

    “This video may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community.

    To view this video, please verify you are 18 or older by logging in or signing up.”

  8. Sriranga

    Many Indians wear this kind of attire. Gautham has never mentioned that it is Gandhiji. Why should we presume that the charecter is of Gandhiji? and create a big havoc

  9. We should take out a patent on being outraged and offended. I don’t like the video either, but there’s no reason to ban it.

  10. WA

    Hmmm didn’t find it funny, got bored within a min. You would have thought that the ministry has better things to do with its time and energy.

  11. Shankar

    Neha and others,

    Its amazing as how you evade the main problem in this video and try to talk around so many things.

    The problem are these

    1. Its obvious, its a reference to Gandhi, lets be clear about it.
    2. He is “the” father of India
    3. People have very high regards for him – belief
    4. It is offensive

    Now, just to position yourself that you think different, don’t bull-shit asking some stupid questions.

    “…that they will find any slight offensive is also obvious…”
    Slightly offensive ?! Offensive is offensive. If I call you an Idiot or if I say, you’re a little bit idiot, does it make any difference to you?! May it really does.

    “…At a personal level, it doesn’t quite appeal to either my sense of humour or raunch…”
    While you’re entitled to have such “indifference” and exhibit “cool”, SURE, so be it. But remember, there are times, when what we do could be “offensive” for someone’s sentiments. As “humans” we should value them. Whether it be Gandhi or any form of anyone’s belief.

    “Do these people find the idea of a striptease by itself indecent, or the fact that it is supposed to be someone who looks like Gandhi who engages in the act indecent? And you’re right, if anything the West has a grand tradition of democratic ridicule.”
    This is going to be hard – how about this. Tomorrow, there is some post, which mocks one of your family member in a similar compromising situation. One say I dont’ find it funny, why bother ? You say, I’m deeply hurt. I then say, are you slightly hurt or deeply hurt and then I ask “what’s the big deal?”.

    How does that feel now ? That’s exactly how those who believe and respect Gandhi feel now.

    “I wonder how they feel about Gandhi’s image (the one on the currency notes) being placed inside underwear…”
    This actually shows your indifference. 2 points here. Assuming you see such an act, if you really believe in Gandhi, you’d have told that person about this and we leave upto the person to then decide. If he does realise, I’m sure there will be a change. You’d tell it to that person, “only” if you believe that it hurts your feelings and/or beliefs. If not, you bull-shit around like this finding similarities.

    “Many Indians wear this kind of attire. Gautham has never mentioned that it is Gandhiji. Why should we presume that the charecter is of Gandhiji? and create a big havoc”
    Open you fricking eyes and that dormant brain, you idiot. How about this. He carries a placard “Gandhi”, what would you ask then.

    Guys,
    Let me tell you something. Show your difference by living your life “sane”, not just by taking opposite positions of what many believe and take. Let go your ego and see the world, plain and simple.

  12. Shankar: What is your point?

  13. Threats to lynch the person, then beat him with sticks … whatever happend to non-violence! The goverment gets a big zero when it comes to upholding India’s democratic values, as with this video it is vey evident that it has tried to create a controversy, by imposing the sentiments of a few officials on millons of Indians, who might not even have heard of YouTube !!! As much as I do not like a lot of things, here in the west, its tolerance for free speech is probably unparalled.

    One another controversy about Gandhi which people in India just refuse to acknowledge or question, is his relationship with younger women, in his brahmachari stage (after the age of 36). He called it his brahmachari experiment, and a test, of his resolve to be celibate. This has been addressed in a few books before. I first read it in Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. Is also been questioned as facts or myth in Ved Meha’s, Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles, Nirmal Kumar Bose in My Days with Gandhi, Erik H. Erikson in Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence, and Gandhi himself in occasional public utterances. I am sure someone is making a video of that, just as I am typing my message.

  14. “Let me tell you something. Show your difference by living your life “sane”, not just by taking opposite positions of what many believe and take. Let go your ego and see the world, plain and simple.”

    :)

    a great notice i always found useful at zoos and shrink cells:
    Don’t feed the trolls….

  15. >>>> I wonder if we’ll ever see the likes of The Daily Show in India.

    A daily show ripoff already exists in CNBC TV 18. it is called “news on the loose” hosted by vir das, who does a fair imitation of jon stewart (including scribbling circles on the paper in front of him). as is the case of ripoffs it is a pale imitation of the original

  16. I think that there can be positive portrayals of Gandhi and positively irreverant ones. Here is an example of a positive one:

    http://pugettown.wordpress.com/2007/01/19/reincarnating-gandhi/