Will Smith can learn to slap legal cases against comedians in India, says Vir Das
Why is Will Smith, who is still smarting from being banned from the Oscars for 10 years, in India? Definitely not to spin a yarn like the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did in Gujarat, and ended up being the target of memes.
Instead, if some reports are to be believed, with a monk in tow, it seems likely that a chastened Smith has come to India, like many others from the Hollywood fraternity before him (from the likes of Julia Roberts to Ashton Kutcher), for spiritual solace. In the past, Smith has visited India and participated in the Ganga aarti at Haridwar.
Nothing like sitting by the dirty Ganges and soaking in some saffron love with chaos swirling all around! While Smith’s children are Osho fans, the Pursuit of Happyness actor is believed to have come to meet Isha Foundation’s Sadhguru.
But even as Will Smith landed at Mumbai airport, comedian Vir Das who in November last year rubbed ‘one side of India’ the wrong way with his show, “I come from two Indias’ at John F Kennedy Centre in Washington, and had two legal cases filed against him, tweeted about Will Smith’s visit.
According to Das, Smith can learn to stop slapping comedians with his hand and start slapping them with legal cases.
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Das, who is probably upset with the legal cases against him, wanted to take a potshot at the growing intolerance in the country and therefore the jibe. After his ‘I come from two Indias’ show kicked up a huge row, a lawyer Ashutosh Dubey for the ruling BJP filed a defamation suit in Mumbai in his personal capacity against the comedian for “making a mockery of India” and hurting the sentiments of India.
There’s also the case of comedian Munawar Faruqui, who was hauled off to jail even before he could get funny. (in fact, according to a recent PEN Freedom to Write report, the police had no visual evidence to show that he had insulted Hindu deities and the police had no choice but to release him from jail)
Reacting to Das’ tweet, other netizens made more fun of Smith speculating on why the American actor is in India. Probably, he has come to see Heropanti 2 with Tiger Shroff said one social media user, while another slapped down Das by pointing out that Smith has come to give training on how to deal with comedians (in India) who make inappropriate jokes.
Smith shocked the world when he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022 ceremony for making a dig at his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head. Though, he was quickly counselled by senior actor Denzel Washington about his behaviour, and he apologised to the Academy with tears streaming down his face, while accepting his trophy as Best Actor, Smith could not take back the slap or live it down. The irony lies in the fact that he hopes that India (the two Indias) will act as a balm.