Last year in Oct, I had attended the #SMWMumbai event, and it was at that event and that too in the last session, when I actually got to know about AIB - the All India Bakchod comedy group. I had no prior knowledge of the group; that it was so famous with such a huge fan following on almost all the social media platforms ( thus, explaining its presence too in the Social Media Week, that I was attending ). Well, well...I'm little anti-social it seems or whatever it is called, that I get to know about these kinda things pretty late.

So, the session I attended was "BOLLYWOOD TROLLING: FUN & NEW AGE" Hosted by Express Group from 8:15 PM - 9:00 PM with the panel comprising of Huma Quereshi ( Actress, Bollywood ), Ritesh Deshmukh ( Architect, Film Producer & Actor, Bollywood ), Gursimran Khamba ( Co-founder, All India Bakchod ), Rohan Joshi ( Writer, Stand-up Comedian ), Tanmay Bhat ( Co founder, All India Bakchod ) and Ashish Shakya ( Humour columnist, Hindustan Times ). About the session it said - Genre Independent Lifestyle & Culture - "Not all panel discussions are meant to ‘chew your brain’. Here is a fun session to troll on Bollywood and to discuss on how Bollywood has gone more social and conversational with the emerge of Social Media. Caution: Join us only if you enjoy some serious fun."

Knowing not what to expect, I sat waiting for the session to start, glancing at my watch rather frequently as it was getting quite late. Then all of a sudden, three hippie-types boys entered the hall - all in their shorts/three-quarters with hairy legs; and all looking quite weird too, if I may say so. Next came in ~ the Stars - Huma & Ritesh. No sooner did the trio ( of AIB ) opened their mouths, the entire audience got into a rofl-mode. Their leg-pulling of the stars, inane jokes ( with or without double meanings ) etc, ruled the next hour or so, leaving everyone in splits. I enjoyed it thoroughly and clicked lots of pictures/videos. Once, one understands the psyche of the jokes and the jokers ( that they are really ), one won't really get offended as such. Because, it was all harmless. And the name itself of the group - All India Bakchod, means don't expect any seriousness from them; they're here do all types of bakchodi ( which they did and which they are loved for, by their fans ).


AIB #SMWMumbai Event

However, on 28th Jan they aired the now infamous show 'AIB Knockout' ( featuring Karan Johar, Arjun Kapoor & Ranveer Singh ), that caught the ire of many especially one Akhilesh Tiwari, president of Brahman Ekta Sanstha in Mumbai. He filed a written complaint at Sakinaka police station on 2 February 2015 against the show, for using filthy and abusive language in the AIB Knockout. The show also apparently made several digs at certain communities ( christians/LGBT ), and few others including bollywood. More complaints followed suit, and the group pulled down their video ( on their own ). People like Aamir Khan & Salman Khan too got embroiled into the controversy, by commenting against it, without even perhaps seeing the show. And when matters like FIR, police, courts etc come in, things do get serious. Ironically, in that show ( which I had attended previously ), they had mentioned about getting all kinds of warnings/complaints etc from almost everyone; and this time they landed in rather hot-soup for real as well.

With everyone jumping into the bandwagon of either support or oppose, I can only say that since the video was in YouTube ( and not on regular TV Channels ), it was entirely in the audience's hands whether to see it or not. Its entirely the viewers choice really, as it was not forced down anyone's throat. And having seen a live-show of their's myself ( albeit a milder one perhaps compared to AIB Knockout ), I know, their humour may raise your eyebrows a bit, or even make you bit uncomfortable or it is really crass/cheap; but its all really harmless. And having written the post, I must admit that I too haven't see it ( the AIB Knockout video, that is ), but I certainly don't like this kinda encroachment on freedom of expression. Yes, one should be responsible in their freedom of speech, but then one also has option 'not to see or hear'. AIB has written an apology letter as well; but in my opinion, people should stop dictating/deciding for others what one should or should not see. When it is in social media, one has option of closing the browser for heaven's sake!

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