Gautham Prasad is a tool [with a point]...

Let me just start there. I don't know him; maybe you do and you think he's a nice guy. You may be right, but I still think Gautham Prasad is a tool. In case you haven't heard of him (as none of us had a few days ago, but hey, I guess that's the whole point, right?), he's a rather un-funny stand-up comic (if you don't believe me, watch this) who had to resort to the following awful routine to get a few laughs:

[youtube]CE9_sBZHu1E[/youtube]

That said, the reason I've inserted this YouTube footage here is because of the press coverage he's been getting across the globe, with the spokespersons from the Government of India condemning it and demanding the TV stations which originally aired it to apologize:

The Hindu:

The Government today took "serious exception" to two Indian news channels airing video clips depicting a man dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi performing a pole dance, and said action would be taken against them...

The footage in question showed a man dressed as Gandhi resorting to violence, carrying a dagger, and making obscene gestures and a pole dance.

Fox News:

India has ordered two television channels in India to apologize for showing video of a man dressed as Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi shooting at people with an AK-47 and performing a striptease...

IBN says the video was shot in the U.S. and originally appeared on Youtube.com.

The routine is tasteless, pathetic, and screams out the fact that nothing else was working for him, so he decided do the whole bring-Gandhi-back-from-the-dead-and-make-him-look-like-an-idiot thing which has been done SO MANY TIMES that it's become a cliche.

HOWEVER:

Have a look at the footage yourself and tell me where Prasad wields either a dagger or an AK-47! Did any of these news outlets bother checking out the story for themselves or did they just rely on hearsay from other sources? It's entirely possible that this particular YouTube sample wasn't the original which IBN-7 and Sahara aired in India, but it is what people seem to be linking to...

Prasad has issued the following statement:

"My intention was to entertain people. I have great respect for Gandhiji. I apologize if I offended anybody with the video," Prasad, a former clown with Ringling Brothers circus, told rediff.com...

He said he is getting a lot of calls and emails after the video was telecast in India, some threatening and some supportive. "I have mixed feelings about the whole controversy. Some accuse me of portraying Gandhi with a gun and alcohol. Such scenes are not on my video. They are speaking about some other video," Prasad, who terms himself as 'a laughter delivery system,' said (rediff.com).

This whole episode has me really irked. I hate feeling compelled to come to the defense of guys like this. But for all that, I did say he has a point, so here it is:

He is also upset about wasting the time, money and energy on such small things. "What is more important, things like the war in Iraq or the murder in Darfur or a video, to attract our attention? We have many better things to do," he said (rediff.com).

Let's move on, shall we?

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Comments

And now, of course, the

And now, of course, the Indian Government is looking to pick a fight with YouTube (much like it did with various blogs and websites some time ago...)

[Information & Broadcasting (I&B)] ministry is understood to have taken up the matter with the IT ministry for 'action' against YouTube. While some I&B ministry sources said that YouTube would be blocked, some others said that YouTube would be asked to take off the offending video (Times of India).

I think this falls firmly in the category of That With Which Government Shall Not Deal - not just for ethical reasons, but really, WORRY ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS!

India due to a supposedly

India due to a supposedly offensive video of Mahatma Gandhi doing a Pole dance and other ungandhi like antics. Boing Boing then links to this blog entry , which provides NO SOURCES for this story. If blogs want to operate like actual journals (i.e. breaking news stories) then they should :) You wasted a lot of energy

Gautham Prasad’s received

Gautham Prasad’s received tons of e-mails (not surprisingly), and his response to one of them is posted here.

max: what?

max: what?

OK, the skit is totally

OK, the skit is totally tasteless and retarded, and there were some moments where I wondered whether he was improvising and doing things by the minute since he didn't seem to have a routine in mind. And because it's so prosaic and bland, you smirk at the idiocy of the whole thing. BUT, one of my favorite Bhangra songs accompanied the skit! Jazzy B!

Anyway, maybe I missed it, but I didn't see him wield anything.

I feel compelled to defend him because of freedom of speech, no matter how lame his impersonation of Gandhi is. Maybe it is just me, but I could care less about what his portrayal of Gandhi is. No personage should be an untouchable and sacred cow that is immune to criticism, satire, and so forth. And I completely agree with what he says:

He is also upset about wasting the time, money and energy on such small things. “What is more important, things like the war in Iraq or the murder in Darfur or a video, to attract our attention? We have many better things to do,” he said.

**********

India due to a supposedly offensive video of Mahatma Gandhi doing a Pole dance and other ungandhi like antics. Boing Boing then links to this blog entry , which provides NO SOURCES for this story. If blogs want to operate like actual journals (i.e. breaking news stories) then they should You wasted a lot of energy

I love how we get comments from time to time which scream out, "I haven't read what you've actually written, but you've got it all wrong." :)

While Gautham was recently

While Gautham was recently studying in Toronto, Canada he lived with me for a few months.
He is one of the kindest people I have ever met. I hardly think him acting silly on stage (he is a professional clown, people) should be warranting death threats...

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