Via Scroll.in: A comedy performance by Abish Mathew at the National Law University in Delhi [for their fest, Kairos] on Sunday took a funny turn. Fifteen minutes into the act, a group of female protesters showed him the finger and walked out of the audience. Soon after, they returned with more people and a placard reading, “Get Out Sexist Pig”, ostensibly to protest against the sexist jokes that Mathew had cracked.
Nikita Agarwal’s Facebook post: The students protested against the various sexist, racist and casteist jokes made by Abish Mathew ranging from a mallu man’s ability to use 5 minutes in a manner where he can get drunk, beat his wife, kill and bury her and still have time to chill out to jokes on punjabi women putting on weight post marriage. He also made jokes on women being bad employees and bad drivers.
On this, NLU Delhi’s blog Glasnost said: Some of his jokes were sexist. People may have differing opinions on whether these were caricature and were meant to reflect, through humor, the inadequacies of society or whether such things should be the subject of humor at all. […]
Either way, Abish had a right to his expression. Within the framework of said expression comes the right not to be disrupted.
You critiqued it and it was great. But then you decided that he needed to shut up. That he must not be allowed to talk. And this is where the problem lies. Your response to his expression was to want to shut that avenue for him.
Nikita Agarwal’s Facebook post: The standing ovation that Abish Mathew solicited and the harassment that the protestors experienced both are indicative of a deeply sick and sexist community which condones and even celebrates sexism under the garb of free speech and expression and at the same time condemns forms of dissent by curbing the voice of the dissentor by using that which they are distancing themselves from, the Heckler’s veto. It is the student community which is a hypocrite in this situation and not the protestors themselves.
First Post’s verdict: Ironically, Mathew and the protesters have one thing in common: they are both indefensible.
Lawrence Liang of Alternative Law Forum defended the students:
I am the Admin of Lawctopus. I am for law students, of law students and by law students. I am Torts and Contracts and moots and internships. I am your boyfriend! And your girlfriend too! Mentor. Friend. Junior. Senior. I am the footnote in your research paper. Foreword in your life. The jugaad for your internship. The side gig which earns you bucks. I am Maggi. Pocket money too.