Have we lost our sense of humour?

Humour, as defined by the Oxford dictionary; is as follows, “the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech.” It is an important aspect of our personality, it is what makes us likeable and in some cases attractive to other people. However, should humour be used at the expense of someone’s dignity or image? Definitely not! At the same time it should also not be taken very seriously.  Unfortunately it is not so in our country at this very moment.

There are a large number of sources for humour, there’s comedy TV shows, comedy movies, literary works, comic books, to a certain extent the opposition in the parliament and the internet. The last one, i.e. the internet has been the largest source of humour or, ‘trolls’ as they have come to be termed by the common masses. Most of these trolls are targeted towards current issues and people who are being focused upon by the mainstream media, sometimes these trolls take to radical heights in ‘humour.’ Trolling has become a major issue in India today, and it has taken an ugly turn with some of the trolls reaching the courts. Most of these trolls aren’t even that offensive and often make a good laugh, however most people don’t think of them that way and that speaks negatively about our people and country. Often it is said that we mustn’t compare ourselves with the west, but there are certain things we should adapt from them. Western countries take humour and trolls targeted on themselves very well and respond appropriately, most of their famous comedians make jokes on their own society and that is something to marvel at.

Narendra Modi in his speech in the parliament once said, “ham aaj kal sabha me haste nahi hai” (We don’t laugh in the parliament anymore) and what he said is true, it wasn’t always like this, if we look at records from previous sessions of the parliaments, namely the ones almost 15 years ago we find that members of parliament used to make a lot of jokes along with their constructive arguments. This degradation in the sense of humour of the members of parliament reflects the overall attitude of our country; therefore this change has come in the past few years itself, and it is a change which is not for the good. Furthermore people have grown more intolerant of ‘humour’ and the spirit of ‘taking it on the chin’ is at its all-time lowest. The time is high, for introspection and a change of attitude.

We can bring back our lost sense of humour. As a people, as a country, we have the potential to do so, we were resilient and resolute in overthrowing the British and we did so by not even picking up a single gun. Then we can also change this attitude.

“Does god have a sense of humour? He must have, if he created us” – Jackie Gleason


Priyamvad Rai

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