New Delhi : No jokes should be targeted towards any racial group, Sikh community representatives on Saturday told the Supreme Court which agreed with its suggestion that instead of an “unenforceable judicial order”, there was a need for sensitising the society from the formative stages.
Asking various petitioners from the community including the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee to come up with suggestions in six weeks, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said it would examine the framing of guidelines to stop circulation of racist or communal jokes in the cyber world.
Senior advocates from the community, A P S Ahluwalia and R S Suri, said there was a need to sensitise students not to circulate jokes that portray any community or sociological group as a “butt of jokes”.
They said, the community was against making and circulating of jokes on Sikhs, Biharis and calling people from Northeastern states by a particular term.
“There was a need for a change in orientation. May be time has come to look at a bigger and larger picture,” Suri said before the bench, which also comprised Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit, reports PTI.
At the outset, Suri said in 68 years of his life, he has seen people from the community doing very well in different spheres. “We have had many leaders who were Sikhs and even a Sikh President and Prime Minister,” he said. The CJI then intervened to say “You had a Sikh army chief also. Soon you will be having a Sikh as the Chief Justice of India (referring to Justice JS Khehar).”
The bench said “we can stop jokes when they are circulated for a commercial purpose. But suppose, if your (pointing out to the arguing lawyer) colleague in the canteen makes a joke, you also laugh. Can we stop him? Will you file a contempt (complaint) against your colleague?” Suri said “we don’t want unenforceable order.”
At this, the bench asked him, “you tell us what can possibly be done as you suggested that there was a need for sensitising.”