The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’s recently eliminated contestant Shyam Rangeela has slammed the show for allegedly not letting him mimic Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on the popular stand-up comedy reality TV series. In an interview to PTI, Rangeela claimed that he was invited by Star Plus to participate on the show after his videos imitating Modi went viral on social media.
Rangeela, who was eliminated from the show on October 22 along with other two participants Rajeev and Vidhushi, further claimed that after a month of shooting he was asked to prepare a fresh skit as the channel apparently did not want to get into a trouble by telecasting the Modi-Rahul jokes on air.
"They asked me to prepare a new skit in five days - without mimicking Modi-Rahul. I told them I would not be able to put up a fresh stand-up in such a short time. But I did prepare something and did the shoot. It was not impressive enough as it led to my elimination from the show," he had told PTI.
Now, Rangeela has found a support in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge former winner Sunil Pal, who in an exclusive chat with News18.com, has said there’s nothing wrong in mimicking politicians or actors if it’s being done in good humour.
Pal, also an actor, said he has himself in his decade-long career mimicked so many politicians and actors like Irrfan Khan and Nana Patekar, but none of them has ever taken an offence.
“They should have aired it. I’m sure even Modi ji would not have had any problem with that. We all have mimicked so many politicians and big actors they have never taken any offence as they also knew that we were doing it in good humour."
“They never said a single word to me in fact they liked it to such an extent that they personally came to me and said it was fantastic. Look at Sudesh Bhonsle ji, he used to mimic Amitabh Bachchan ji so well but that doesn’t mean Amitabh ji hates him.”
The comedian, popular for his self-created character of drunkard Ratan Noora, added, “Rangeela was only imitating Modi ji. It’s not like that he was abusing him or saying bad things about him. I don’t understand what’s the big deal in that.”
Pal said in the past a lot of comedians and other people have cracked jokes on former prime minister Manmohan Singh so why alone Rangeela is being targeted. “Modi ji himself is a big lover of art. Now that he’s India's Prime Minister he doesn’t get time to attend programmes. However, earlier he used to attend several Kavi Sammelans. I’m sure he would have liked Rangeela’s act.”
Pal said somewhere social media is also responsible for this as people just start bashing on the platform even without knowing what exactly the matter is.
“I will not talk about our freedom of speech as nowadays you easily become target and I would blame social media for that as it often blows things out of proportion.”
Pal also called out the current creative team of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge for being ill-informed as he said they did not even know that he was the season one winner.
“Few years back even I got a call from The Great Indian Laughter Challenge season 5 creative team. They asked me if I’d be interested to be a part of it. I said 'Yeah. Why not?' You will not believe what they told me. They said, “Acha theek hai Sunil ji toh aap apna ek video bhej dijiye bana kar audition ke liye humko.” They didn’t even know that I have won this show in 2005. They have zero knowledge. They are just eliminating good artistes. I think this season is good for nothing. No TRPs.”