The team behind the controversial AIB Knockout Roast on Saturday said that they could have made the event better in content without diluting their stand on absolute freedom of speech.
The AIB Roast had aired on video sharing platform YouTube in January and had generated much criticism and was even slapped with a court case for alleged abusive language. It was taken off YouTube in February.
The team members were speakers at the United Nations ‘Young Changemakers Conclave’ in Colaba on Saturday. “We are proud of Roast and would do it better, but we would change the way of the Roast by 1,000 per cent…,” said Tanmay Bhat, an AIB member. “We do regret some of the things we have said in the past.”
“How many people who enjoyed the Roast came out in support of them when it became a row? India is the oldest democracy and the oldest hypocrisy, someone once said. We should offer our opinion when we think it will help someone,” said Varun Gandhi, MP, in his speech.
The conclave had 500 participants and among speakers were MP Poonam Mahajan, celebrity blogger Malini Agarwal, gaming expert Vishal Gondal and law student Shreya Singhal, who challenged Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.
ON RELIGION IN POLITICS: I think we should keep religion out of politics. People should doggedly follow progressive agendas.
ON HATE SPEECH: I claimed to be innocent… but nobody wanted to hear what I had to say. I think the media is predatory and not always responsible.
ON DYNASTIC POLITICS: Politics is not an equal-playing field and will continue to be so as long as we continue to vote on the basis of last names and history. Out of all the dynasts, I haven’t had it the easiest.
ON RESERVATIONS: I’m against caste-based reservation. I think we should move towards meritocracy.