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Monday, April 12, 2021

Comedian Kunal Kamra refuses to apologize for his tweets against Supreme Court, Twitter reacts

"We would be reduced to a country of incarcerated artists and flourishing lapdogs", Kunal Kamra mentioned in his affidavit.

One of the most controversial comedians in the town who is also known as the ‘anti-nationalist’ or ‘anti-Modi’, Kunal Kamra is back in the news. On December 18, the Supreme Court issued a show-cause notice to Kamra for his tweets against the Supreme Court and exempted him from personal appearances.

Attorney General K K Venugopal had granted consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against KunalKamra. He stated Kamra’s tweets were in “bad taste” and it was the time that people understand that attacking the apex court would attract punishment.

In the recent development, Kamra has filed his reply affidavit in a plea seeking contempt action against him for the tweets.

“I may disagree with many decisions by many courts in many matters, but I promise this bench that I will respect any decision that comes my way with a broad smile. I will not vilify this bench or the Supreme Court in this matter specifically because that would actually be contempt of court.

“Should powerful people and institutions continue to show an inability to tolerate rebuke or criticism, we would be reduced to a country of incarcerated artists and flourishing lapdogs. If this court believes I have crossed a line and wants to shut down my internet indefinitely, then I too will write Happy Independence Day post cards every 15th August, just like my Kashmiri friends,’ he said.

Kamra also said that he believes that there is a growing culture of intolerance in this country, where taking offense is seen as a fundamental right and has been elevated to the status of a much loved national indoor sport.

“We are witnessing an assault on the freedom of speech and expression, with comedians like Munawar Farooqi being jailed for jokes that they have not been made, and school students being interrogated for sedition. At such a time, I hope that this court will demonstrate that the freedom of speech and expression is cardinal constitutional value, and recognise that the possibility of being offended is a necessary incident to the exercise of this right,” he said

“The Language and style I resort to are not with the intention to insult, but to draw attention to and prompt an engagement with issues that I believe are relevant to our democracy and which have also been raised in the public domain by more serious and learned commentators,” he said.

“I do not believe that any high authority, including judges, would find themselves unable to discharge their duties only on account of being the subject of satire or comedy,” he said.

Defending his tweets he said, that they were not published with “the intention to diminish the faith of the people in the highest court of our democracy”.

“Just as the Supreme Court values the faith the public places in it (and seek to protect it by the exercise of its criminal contempt jurisdiction), it should also trust the public not to form its opinion of the court on the basis of a few jokes on Twitter. The public’s faith in the judiciary is founded on the institution’s own actions, and not on any criticism or commentary about it,” he said.

“Most people do not react to jokes that don’t make them laugh; they ignore them like our political leaders ignore their critics. That is where the like of joke must end. The truth about the attention economy is that the more attention one gives to criticism or ridicule, the more credible it appears to be,” he said.

This response by Kunal Kamra has grabbed a lot of attention on the internet. While some supported the comedian some also trolled him for proving his point.

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Mayuresh Patil
My Instagram says I am silent-ink, My Facebook says I am a Newsy Guy. And My Gmail says I am an Utter Chaos. To sum up, a combination of Creativity + Simplicity. Also, never underestimate the power of words.

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