AIB roast was recently involved in several censorship versus freedom of speech debates. Various arguments in favour and against were discussed since its launch on YouTube and due to unrest it created the questionable videos were taken down by creators shortly thereafter. The videos were majorly opposed by feminist groups, religious groups and state censorship authority members because the comedy involved in the show were said to be hurting the sentiments of public and various concerned groups.
Before talking further on the arguments in favour and against one need to understand the form of entertainment that AIB wants to create. While going through many of the AIB videos we can observe that they are not within norms created by mainstream comedy that our society easily digests but these videos very often are satirical and challenges various societal behaviour which we observe daily but never raise questions on them.
The concept of Roast is taken from western entertainment industry where it is much easier to create liberal discourse than in conservative society like ours. Roast shows involve passing embarrassing jokes on the person who is being roasted by his or her friends. While passing jokes on each other has never been in controversy and always been part of our day to day societal interactions but the language used in the show was aggressively challenged. Which should raise the questions of whether we as individuals do not have any livid experience of use of such strong language? Whether our friends and family members crack hurting jokes on us, which may lead to some violent reaction by us sometimes and why does that happen? The answer to this question may differ due to subjectivity in environment one experience but even in this subjectivity it become important to let such discourse perpetuate in the society. If a society truly wishes to increase its tolerance against various sentimental hurting videos, bigotry and hate speeches we need to learn to absorb such elements coming from within the society rather than blocking it. The problem hence we face is not that such form of comedy exist within the society or not because it do, but whether blocking such discourse will lead to betterment in tolerance level of people or not? Society learns from itself is the cardinal principle behind increasing societal tolerance hence when a discourse is created and gradually accepted by the majoritarian part of society it becomes norm and therefore your morality circle and tolerance increases. Whenever a discourse is blocked and there is no chance given to society to itself create antitheses, this blocked content takes forms of cult and remain present within minority groups. Therefore Due to censorship this results into clash of these two manifested cultures and the tolerance gap further increases and the majoritarian society further disowns the minority group without willing to understand them in the first place. censoring all the non-prevalence form of art will not only hurt the artistic freedom author should get to develop its creativity but it will impact society in a way that it would develop fear in mind of people to not to be creative in public or you can face jail time for it. Another argument against censoring such arts can be drawn on the lines that censoring will lead to slippery slope where blocking AIB roast maybe a good thing for larger interest but this will give legitimacy to majoritarian government to block more such content and only allow a particular form of art which is consistent with particular group ideology, these leads to tyranny of power block which is much larger than us and governs us of how we should think and act.
What if we are not allowed to speak certain words or bring satire against oppression or make fun of people? How would our life be? Banning an idea will never kill it but it only impediments one particular channel and still hundred more expressions are open for it to emerge before mass. So an idea of cracking Jewish or catholic jokes may sound derogatory to some but at the same time blocking it will lead to two things firstly saying anything of such sort will turn into a taboo and people will become intolerant towards taking harsh comments even in lightest mood on themselves and secondly this idea can take another form of expression which in turn can turn more violent discourse.
Hence freedom of speech should be absolute until it hampers national security or substantially harms a particular group but state should take caution in setting up standards for such restrictions or soon we will be under an oppressive regime or in worst case we as society will always involve in trifles and becoming doom of our own evolution.