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AIB-Knockout: Ex-VHP member first to complain, says show was like a ‘porn film’

Akhilesh Tiwari approached Vinod Tawde, the Minister of Culture Affairs, over the alleged obscenity of the roast.

Written by Srinath Raghvendra Rao | Mumbai | Published: February 4, 2015 12:59:53 am

Two strongly-worded applications submitted by the founders of little-known organisations, claiming to represent the interests of the Hindu and Christian communities respectively, have led to a police probe into the comedy programme ‘AIB-Knockout’ for “obscene” content and the possibility of having flouted permissions granted to host the show in December last year.

The first man to complain was Akhilesh Tiwari, a businessman and current president of the Brahman Ekta Seva Sanstha. Tiwari, a former member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, first approached Vinod Tawde, the state’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Affairs, over the alleged obscenity of the roast’s content.

After his meeting with Tawde, Tiwari submitted a written application to Saki Naka police station.

The second complaint was submitted to the Bandra police station on Monday by Agnelo Fernandes of the Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum.

Both applications are now being studied by the Tardeo police station, in whose jurisdiction the venue of the December 20, 2014 show, Worli’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, is located. Within a day of the show- popularly called the AIB Roast — being telecast and going viral on YouTube, applications were sent to the Saki Naka and Bandra police stations by two different individuals.

“We are studying both the applications and the content of the show. We will first probe what section of the Indian Penal Code can be invoked before registering any FIR. We are studying various acts to establish whether the organisers flouted any rules after acquiring certificates to hold the event,” said S Jayakumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone III.

Tiwari’s three-page complaint stated that celebrities and comedians who participated in the event were “behaving like animals”.

Tiwari’s objections however, began with the AIB. “Bakc*** is a swear word in parts of West Bengal,” he says.

Referring to a particular address by director Karan Johar and actors Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, Tiwari likened the trio’s words and gestures to a “porn film”.

While noting the utterances on the show were punishable under the Indian Penal Code for hurting religious sentiments, the Indecent Representation of Women Act and the Information Technology Act, Tiwari says the “galaxy of famous Bollywood stars” present at the show failed as role models.

Tiwari (44), a native of Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, has been settled in Saki Naka for the past 25 years. While part of his family’s printing and stationery business, Tiwari has also been running the Sanstha for the past five years. “Several years ago, I joined the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, but quit an important post to start the sanstha in 2010,” he says.

Tiwari says his organisation organises activities is “aimed at maintaining social, cultural and religious harmony”.

“The police should act against them to set such a deterrent that no other film personality ever indulges in a similar vulgar performance,” he says.

The second complainant, Agnelo Fernandes, has named 12 individuals, apart from the producers of the show and the channel that telecast the show, for hurting sentiments of the Christian community.

Fernandes has urged the police to charge the participants of the show under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code for outraging religious sentiments. He has cited four different instances during the show AIB comedians Ashish Shakya, Rohan Joshi and Gursimran Khamba and director Karan Johar ‘roast’ fellow AIB member Abish Mathew with comments that Fernandes found were insulting to “JESUS CHRIST and Mother Mary.”

Citing the several million views that AIB’s three videos on YouTube have received, Fernandes has threatened a big agitation and demanded the immediate arrest of the individuals named in his letter.

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