Kapil Sibal has recently taken over from Ajmal Kasab as the most hated personality on the internet by Indians. However, Mr. Sibal, known to be the most articulate among the present crop of ministers, chose to reiterate with his opinion on how he has been misrepresented and misunderstood by millions of Indians, even though it was their security and moralities that he was attempting to preserve. We caught up with Mr. Sibal and asked him what the Kolaveri about censorship was all about.
Q: Firstly, thank you Mr. Sibal, for agreeing to this interview. Let’s begin with the most important question. What’s the ruckus about censorship online?
KS: I have been quoted out of context. It’s all a rather unfortunate misunderstanding.
Q: Yes, we expected that. On a television show, you said that this move was to check the increasing number of posts against religious leaders and gods, and this was offensive to religions around the world.
KS: Yes, yes. That’s the cause.
Q: But a lot of people attribute it a fear of people lashing out at Congress leaders like Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. Is that true?
KS: Absolutely not. That’s not true. We are an open-minded party. No such worries for us.
Q: Now, your move has raised a lot of questions. For one, how does one decide what is offensive?
KS: Well, it is quite a simple yardstick, actually. Any person or organization that contains words or names or images of anything offensive should be stopped. For eg. Take the case of the popular company ‘Parachute’. It is blasphemous.
Q: How, exactly?
KS: If you carefully look at the name, you will notice that it contains a Hindi expletive. Add to that the fact that it is shown on national television, and all the ads have women featuring in them. It is blatantly offensive.
Q: That’s a first, Mr. Sibal. I am sure the nation had not thought of that.
KS: I know, right? That’s why I keep saying that this move is for the benefit of the common man. We have also asked other companies to alter their names, Apollo Hospitals, for example.
Q: That’s because their name suggests “A pole, lo”?
KS: (smiles) Brilliant! We are also looking at changing the currency from rupee to ‘rupaiya’. This will serve two purposes. One, it will be seen as a fresh start after the tanking that the currency has been taking. Secondly, it will eliminate the offensive ‘pee’ part of the currency. Similarly, we have asked N.R. Narayan Murthy to rename his IT company as ‘Infobro’.
KS: See, Infosys has a lot of employees. Now, if one of them is angry with the company and says ‘Fucking Infosys’, it will be a gaali to a behen. Hence, the name will be changed from ‘Infosys’ to ‘Infobro’.
Q: How thoughtful, sir. Moving on, your move has been met with a lot of fear and panic among the people. There have been reports that a youth from MP, has changed the spelling of his name to ‘Haardeek Diixit’ as he was afraid that he might be booked for having an offensive name. How do you react to such allegations?
KS: He can relax. As long as his name is not written in a public place, or he doesn’t become famous, he has nothing to worry about.
Q: My next question. Some people say that the title of the first family also….
(QUESTION CENSORED BY THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING)
Q: Very valid argument, sir. Another question that a lot of people have in their minds is this. If one can be booked for saying something offensive, can someone be booked for not saying it?
KS: I don’t understand. Can you explain?
Q: Ok, sir.
Kapil Sibal is stupid. There, I have NOT said something that is offensive. Can I be booked?
KS: Well, technically you DIDN’T say it, so you can’t be booked. But then, there is the aspect that while you didn’t say it expressly, you THOUGHT it in your mind. So yes, that could be treated as offensive too.
Q: So are you telling me that Indians are not allowed to think offensive things too?
KS: This is an irrelevant question. I don’t understand what you mean.
Q: For example sir. I think you are a fucking buffoon. But I don’t say it. Which is fine, but it doesn’t change the fact that I think you are the aforementioned buffoon. So how does it help matters?
KS: Well, we can’t change the way people think about us, can we?
Q: Of course you can, sir. By controlling inflation, curbing corruption….well, you’re right. You can’t do that.
KS: Watch your words, young man. I will (censored) your happiness.
Q: Sorry, sir. Another part of the move that people do not understand is who is going to be the deciding authority for what is considered offensive?
KS: We have a team of experts to monitor the process….
Q: Really? Who…?
KS: Well, the UID Bill has been rejected by the Parliamentary panel, and since we have already spent Rs. 556 crores on it, and another Rs. 1,660 crores have been allotted for the project, we thought it wise to channelize Nandan Nilekani and his team to work on this aspect of the country’s technological progress.
Q: But don’t you think that is a personal choice? That it could curb people’s natural freedom of expression?
KS: Of course not. Look at our step of banning cigarettes in films. It has been done keeping in mind that many people start smoking after watching films.
Q: Isn’t that curbing of creative freedom?
KS: No, it is not. Don’t bring up
fucked up faaltu (comment moderated by the I&B ministry) reasons just for the sake of it.
Q: Ok, sir. Now if someone has to make a film on Winston Churchill, how do you show him without showing his cigars, which were an integral part of his personality?
KS: Ha! (smiles). We have dealt with this question earlier. We told the person that he can show Churchill smoking the cigar. But there has to be a scene in which he goes to a doctor, and the doctor tells him he has lung cancer and shows him the X-Ray. Churchill then has to have a look at the X-Ray report, and raise it in the air towards the light (thereby showing it to the camera), and there have to be two large gaping holes in the lungs, to show that smoking is harmful.
KS: (smug smile)
Q: But that’s tampering with a person’s creative freedom, isn’t it?
KS: But I let him show the character smoking, didn’t I?
Q: Yes, you did. You are a trucking genius, sir. Coming back to the question of determining what is offensive. There is no barometer for indecency, is there? A lot of things are said in jest, and are not to be meant literally.
Q: Like, if someone says “Fuck you, Kapil Sibal”, he doesn’t exactly want to have sexual intercourse with you. He is just expressing dissent. How will your team of experts differentiate between the two? With a software?
KS: See, don’t blame us for being autocratic. There are lots of instances where we came across mails with terror threats and clues, but we let them go, thinking, “What if it is being said in jest?” Then see what happened?
Q: Oh, so now this move is not only to curb the attack on Gods and religious figures, but it’s also a way to fight terror?
KS: (smiles) Yes….
Q: Thank you for the interview, sir. I truly do not think you are a moron who needs medical help.
KS: (smiles) Thank you. And good for you, ‘cos if you thought so, you could be behind bars.
Q: Yeah, fuck my life!
KS: Aye! …..Pakdo saale ko, kahaan gaya. Aye!! Band karo interview saala…..maadar(CENSORED BY THE I&B MINISTRY)