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Dear TOI, That Joke Is Not Funny. It’s Offensive And We Are Not Amused

March 06, 2019 | by Sadhika Sehgal

There was a time while growing up, when my father used to be after my life, forcing me to pick up the newspaper every single day and read at least the headlines if not the full articles. Like every oversmart kid with passable acting skills, I would straight away jump to the comic section inhaling the jokes and really enjoying it.

Calvin and Hobbes and Santa Banta jokes used to be my respite. The jokes were genuinely fun. And didn’t stir up a controversy. Didn’t offend anyone. There are times, even now, when I involuntarily flip pages to get to these sections for a quick and harmless dose of humour. Except, it is neither harmless nor humorous now. What it is, in fact, is dim-witted, irrelevant and quite offensive.

We say this, after Times of India published a joke in today’s issue that offends women, sensibilities and basically anyone with any sort of brain cells in one fell swoop. The “joke” concludes that women don’t deserve to live if they’re ugly. Hilarious. Not.

The problems we have are so many.  First of all, where is the humour? Did we miss it?  How poor does your sense of judgment need to be for you to be okay to publish this? If marriage is so difficult, so shackling to the men, how about not getting into it at all? Such a novel idea this. In a country where the rate of crime against women is alarmingly high, how does a joke about killing your wife even fly? Why does such tripe even make it past the editor? That’s assuming that there’s someone actually looking at the things that make it to every edition.

We are going to put it out there. Jokes about killing your wife, female infanticide, rapes, not funny. Never were. Never will be. There, as easy as that.

We too have a joke for you, “What is a man who makes jokes about women being ugly called? Single.” Oh and, repulsive. Let’s not forget that.

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Sadhika Sehgal

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