AIB team meets city Christian clergy, says sorry

Earlier, AIB had said on social media it stood by its belief in the ‘right to absolute freedom of expression’.

By: Indo-Asian News Service Written by Anjali Lukose | Mumbai | Updated: February 10, 2015 5:45 am
AIB, AIb knockout, All india bakchod Members of the AIB Comedy Company met Bp. Agnelo Gracias, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and offered an unconditional apology to the entire Christian community for any offence that may have been caused to its members as a result of the AIB Knockout.

Days after trigerring a controversy with its expletives-laden show, an AIB-knockout team on Monday offered an unconditional apology to the Archdiocese of Bombay and the Christian community “for any offence caused to religious sentiments as a result of our jokes”.

The apology comes within days of the AIB stating on social media that the team stood by the belief in the “right to absolute freedom of expression for us and for anyone who has anything to say about anything at all”.

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The team comprising comedians Rohan Joshi, Abish Mathew, Ashish Shakya and Tanmay Bhat met Auxiliary Bishop Agnelo Gracias on Monday to issue the apology.

“We would also like to reiterate that the jokes at the AIB Knockout were not intended as a form of persecution or malice towards any community, for that is not who we are, or what we stand for. We explained that while writing jokes, no matter the subject, we never intend to hurt anyone, though we now realize that as an unfortunate consequence of the nature of our profession, we sometimes do offend, and we’re sorry about that,” AIB team’s letter posted on its Twitter page stated.

The AIB Knockout’s live show and its recording on YouTube had social media abuzz with the roast of Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh with Karan Johar acting as “roastmaster” of the show in front of a 4,000-strong crowd at a Worli staidum.

Last week, five Christian organisations had approached the Tardeo police against the AIB Knockout show, alleging its content insulted Jesus Christ and painted Catholic priests as molesters.

The Archdiocese seemed to have been satisfied with the apology tendered.

“The team met us and apologised for having offended Christians. It was nice that they did that, because such matters should be resolved by frank and patient conservations. We also advocate freedom of speech but the speech should not offend people’s faith,” said Auxiliary Bishop Gracias.

The archbishop of Mumbai, cardinal Oswald Gracias, is currently at Vatican and will be back on February 16.

The apology by the group met with severe criticism on Twitter, with supporters of AIB condemning the group for having succumbed to pressure and resorting to “selective” apology.

The expletive-laced show is already being probed by the Maharashtra government after several organisations filed complaints against the alleged obscene nature of the content. Censor board’s member Ashoke Pandit too had come out heavily against it.

The “Roast” is actually a genre of “insult comedy” broadcast online or at live performances. In the AIB Knockout, actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh were roasted by a panel comprising Karan Johar, Rajeev Masand, Raghu Ram and the entire AIB team last month while about 4,000 people watched. The show was held for charity.

anjali.lukose@expressindia.com

 

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  1. G
    guestfromindia
    Feb 10, 2015 at 11:11 pm
    Ha Ha Ha. Were the AIB s thinking they could mock Christians/Muslims and get away with it? Here'a question for you: Which movie made over 200 crore for mocking a religion? For extra credit: Which religion were they mocking?
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    1. G
      guestfromindia
      Feb 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm
      Wilma wrote >>U cannot b a Christian, u fool!! u vl burn in for dis comment of yours. Really? One can burn in for such a trivial slight? What would our Lord Jesus say to this? Turn the other cheek perhaps?
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      1. J
        Jay Roy
        Feb 10, 2015 at 7:54 am
        This is absolute nonsense. As a Christian, I object to anyone being forced to apologise for humour. If the Catholic Church doesn't like the jibes, ask them to clean up their act, not silence people.
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        1. S
          sf
          Feb 22, 2015 at 2:22 am
          The Catholic Church did not ask to apologise!
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          1. W
            Wilma
            Feb 11, 2015 at 3:56 pm
            Check out Hinduism, before u point out at other religions. U fools!! Apologising doesn't undo the harm caused.
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