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The Kashmir Files, The Kapil Sharma Show And The Unanswered Questions. Aren't We Done Yet?

Bollywood actor Anupam Kher recently posted a cryptic message on Twitter in reply to Kapil Sharma. Kher has been giving interview for his movie, 'The Kashmir Files'. (File photo)

Bollywood actor Anupam Kher recently posted a cryptic message on Twitter in reply to Kapil Sharma. Kher has been giving interview for his movie, 'The Kashmir Files'. (File photo)

Vivek Agnihotri, director of ‘The Kashmir Files’, had alleged that they were not invited to ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ as the film didn’t have a 'commercial star-cast'.

On a spree of interviews post the release of movie ‘The Kashmir Files’, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher recently posted a cryptic message on a micro-blogging site. The matter did die down in precisely two tweets, but it left some questions unanswered. So, wasn’t Vivek Agnihotri’s team invited to promote the film on a popular comedy show because of the sensitive content that deals with ‘genocide’ of Kashmiri Pandits?

As we ponder over the same question, like many netizens, our thoughts race to the image of person mentioned in Kher’s tweet. From becoming a household name with his laughter therapy to transcending into ‘hope’, comedian Kapil Sharma has had his share of rise and fall. And still, “he’s not done yet”. But is it over for the Kapil Sharma fans?

Sharma, who crept into the world of Hindi television with ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’, started breaking popularity charts six years later with his stint with ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa Season 6’ in 2013.

The comedian had been doing several shows over the years, including ‘Comedy Circus’ and hosting ‘Chhote Miyan’. Taking forward his passion for singing, he also participated in a singing reality show ‘Star ya Rockstar’. But his partnership with Maniesh Paul made him an instant hit, expanding his fan base.

From pulling leg of the contestants to imagining guests in different roles (one day Sharma deployed singer Shaan as a jawan at the border), the descriptions did make viewers roll on the floor.


A still from Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. Season 6

Months later, he scaled up his gimmicks with his own production. The chat show, ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, broke all records. But there was also a section who thought his gigs were frivolous as it forayed into body shaming and insult comedy.

The criticism, however, neither bogged down Sharma nor the makers as the show became India’s highest-rated scripted TV programme. Besides his usual fan base, he had now made way into conversations of actors and politicians.

Narendra Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014, mocked Rahul Gandhi in one of his election speeches. PM Modi had then suggested that the Congress leader’s gaffes should be telecast on TV instead of comedian Kapil Sharma’s show.

“I feel the TV serial of Kapil Sharma (Comedy Nights with Kapil) will shut down in a few days. TV people should gather these Rahul Gandhi (YouTube) videos and show them and the entire tiredness of the elections will go away. You won’t have to do anything (else) for entertainment,” Modi said at a rally in support of then candidate Uma Bharti in UP’s Jhansi.

He later, after becoming the PM, nominated the comedian for the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ to spread awareness among people for cleanliness and other hygiene-related social issues. But Sharma’s days of fame began to nosedive the day he drunk tweeted PM Modi.

Kapil Sharma, the Controversies’ Child?

“Yeh hain aapke achhe din? @narendramodi (sic)” and “I am paying Rs 15 cr income tax from last 5 years n still i have to pay Rs 5 lacs bribe to BMC office for making my office @narendramodi (sic),” Sharma wrote in his tweet to the prime minister.

In another incident, the comedian’s joke on women didn’t go down well with the activists. While taking a jibe at potholes in the country, Sharma had said the state of the roads are such that women can deliver anytime while travelling on the potholes-riddled pathway. This made a woman activist lodge a complaint against him with Maharashtra State Women’s Commission.

The one incident that continued to make headlines for long was Sharma’s brawl with co-star Sunil Grover mid-air. Sharma reportedly abused and hit his co-star onboard in an inebriated condition. Reports stated that holding Grover by the collar, Sharma told him, “Tu mera naukar hai, tera show flop tha… (you are my servant, your show was a flop).” The reports, however, have been rubbished by the comedian.

This time again he has courted controversy that has led Twitter to trend the hashtag, ‘#BycottKapilSharmaShow’. Vivek Agnihotri, director of ‘The Kashmir Files’, had alleged that they were not invited to ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ as the film didn’t have a “commercial star-cast”. Anupam Kher and Sharma had an almost-verbal duel on Twitter over it.

“Modiji promoted #TheKashmirFiles, we don’t need Bollywood gang bootlicker @KapilSharmaK9 for promotion, so to hell with his show. I reject the Bollywood gang for not supporting the truth #BycottKapilSharmaShow’,” a Twitter user wrote.

This is not the first time that strong reactions have appeared on Twitter. Some people, who’ve had a chance to watch ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ live, wrote on Quora that people are “told to laugh on the sets”. Since we haven’t been to any of the shows, we cannot vouch for it. Also, it’s an accepted fact that there’s a difference with reel and real.

I’m Not Done Yet, Says Kapil Sharma. But What Do Viewers Think?

Sharma too knows the times he has been in newspapers for the wrong reasons, and why. But here is where his talent comes into play. Making his Netflix debut, the comedian twisted some of these controversies into a comedy script. This is where his forte lies – picking up random daily chores or gaffe and turning it into a story.

He is, or perhaps was (we’re divided here), quite relatable at times. Who can forget him describing benefits of a toothbrush for a middle-class family – from a teeth cleaner to retiring as a tool for drawing pyjama strings? And the difficulty faced by a middle-class family before throwing away a toothpaste tube – one applies extra pressure using the edge of the toothbrush to get out some more or simply cutting the tube to utilise even the last pea-size of paste.

Well, issues related to the middle class always sell. That’s why politicians talk about them before elections and there’s such suspense over relief for middle class every year during Union Budget.

There’s enough content in the market, just that one must know how to mint it. While Kapil Sharma’s stand-up act on Netflix, ‘I’m Not Done Yet’, did crack us in relatable bits, it didn’t generate much interest in the end as the act turned into a tribute to his father, which seemed more like a KJo drama.

May be ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ still generates high numbers, considering it’s on repeat on weekends. But we’re still unsure if the repeated acts continue to tickle viewers or it plays in the background with a wish for more and a hope that ‘Kapil Sharma isn’t done yet’.

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