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Saturday, December 3, 2022

‘Comic’ Alexander Babu’s video mocking Bhagwan Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh attracts flak

The shock over stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui’s disparaging jokes on Hindu deities and peddling lies about the painful Godhra massacre, that led to an FIR against the “funnyman” hadn’t even died out, when netizens unearthed another equally disturbing attempt at comedy.

This time it was Tamil Catholic comedian Alexander Babu who decided to make some jokes using Bhagwan Shiva, Maa Parvati and Sri Ganesha as his props. 

Alexander Babu starts off by comparing Sri Ganesha to an IT support engineer because of ‘similar sedentary lifestyle, belly, and a job of getting rid of obstacles (defects)’.  He also claims Sri Ganesh is single despite ‘all the knowledge and money he has got’, just like many IT engineers (often stereotyped as nerdy, unattractive and socially-awkward).

Besides mocking Sri Ganesha for his appearance, Babu also takes a crack at his divine mount Mushaka by comparing it to the mouse device used with computers.

The Christian comic is probably unaware that Sri Ganesha is a skilled warrior whose blessings are invoked to remove any obstacles before starting any new task or project. Sri Ganesh has two consorts: Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi (success, spiritual prowess). 

Next, Alexander Babu compares sacred Hindu scriptures to Wikipedia – the crowd-sourced encyclopedia which is dominated by left-liberal Hinduphobic editors. He does this to narrate his own interpretation of the story behind Sri Ganesha’s birth.

He claims that as Maa Parvati was getting ready for her bath, she realized her hubby (Bhagwan Shiva) is not at home – he has gone on an assignment to ‘destroy some evil, kill some people’. Babu then puts additional stress on the ‘killing’ & ‘destruction’ part of Shiva’s ‘job’, as he imagines some conversations between Shiva and others.

He then attempts to slyly introduce some crass sexual innuendo around Maa Parvati’s ‘shower’. Next, he claims that Maa Parvati accidentally makes a baby boy while playing with sandalwood paste and breathes life into it.

There is too much ignorance to correct here. It is yet another example of why ignorance of a faith system that one does not follow is the reason one must refrain from fiddling with subjects beyond one’s grasp.

But mocking Hindu Gods is in vogue these days. It has a ‘cool vibe’ attached to it, and you will find enough deracinated Hindus (in name only) in our metro cities to peddle your wares and make a living. With absolute impunity, mediocre ‘artists’ walk all over Hindu epics and slight Hindu deities. Our secular education system and lifestyle has raised an entire generation of rootless, self-hating, West-aping Hindus who form the core of the audience for the likes of Faruqui and Alexander. Add secular law enforcement and intelligentsia to the mix, and closet-Hinduphobes are emboldened to heap ridicule on Hindu Dharma and its revered icons. 

Many on twitter wondered why the Indian comedy scene, mediocre as it is, seems to rely so much on denigrating Hindu Dharma and Hindus. Why aren’t these ‘comics’ trying to take on subjects which are much more taboo in nature, and creating material on communities which are in far greater need of loosening up?

But to be honest, comics are human and will follow the path of least resistance. Making jokes about Islam can easily land you with the same fate as that suffered by Charlie Hebdo magazine staff. And we all remember how the ‘daring’ comics of AIB had to meekly offer an unconditional apology to Catholic Bishops for offending the Church, or how the ‘outspoken’ Bollywood celebrity trio of Farah Khan, Raveen Tandon and Bharti Singh had to tender a grovelling apology to the Catholic Church after they were booked for allegedly hurting Christian sentiments in a TV show.

Many are of the opinion that the only way to tackle this phenomenon is by filing cases against such offenders and getting them arrested. Taking Hindu sentiments for granted has reached unbearable proportions. At least one person has lodged a cyber complaint with Tamil Nadu police against Alexander Babu.

Apart from stand-up comedy, former software engineer Alexander Babu also claims to wear other hats: yoga teacher, musician, theatre person, motivational speaker.

In a chat with The Hindu newspaper, Babu said that in his comedy routines he has also mocked ‘a few practices in church’, for which some have accused him of betraying Christianity. “I joke only about its (Church’s) failures,” he says. We wonder why no journalist ever asks comics like Alexander Babu whether they consider the fundamental Christian belief in ‘spreading the Good word’ i.e. proselytising and converting non-Christians as a ‘failure’ or ‘success’? Has the spread of Christianity, often accompanied with violence, subterfuge and colonisation, across all continents at the expense of hundreds of diverse & beautiful indigenous religions & belief systems been a ‘failure’ or ‘success’?

Babu spews the usual politically correct spiel, “All religions teach us to love but, instead of spreading love, we stick to religion. The whole world is one and all of us are friends but everyone doesn’t think so. I believe that art can change that. So I am using art to liberate us from all these ties.”

How mocking Hindu deities, sacred icons of a community that is a global minority when compared to his own Christian brotherhood, qualifies as ‘spreading love’ is beyond us. Is mocking a few Church practices the same as mocking Hindu Gods and Hindu scriptures? Would Alexander Babu mock Jesus and the Bible?

He also has strong opinions about yoga having been a long-time practitioner and teacher. “I think everyone should practice yoga. It is just a tool to keep our body fit and must not be labelled as belonging to a particular religion.” Of course, if yoga were deemed Hindu (as it most definitely is), then how could a good Catholic like Alexander Babu practise something ‘satanic’?

Unlike the Hindus that laugh at distortions of their epics and sacred figures, ‘comic’ Alexander Babu is a devout Christian. He has immense respect for the faith he follows and Jesus Christ, the ‘only son of God’ whose ‘resurrection’ he celebrated by singing chorals on Easter eve, April 11th. 

Mocking Hindus and their Dharma is a trend that will continue till the time Hindus, for whom Dharma matters, don’t realize the limitations of the secular state, and take steps to fashion a country and a generation of self-respecting and confident Hindus.

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