It has come to the notice of the powers that be that despite the IT Act, the Media Council Bill, and the Mulki Ain, there are still people ridiculing those who hold the highest offices in the land.
You, standing at the back, wipe that smirk off your face, otherwise you will face five years in prison or be fined 5 lacks, or both. You find that funny? Guards, seize that man. Take him to the dungeons, and tickle his armpits.
Yes, as I was saying before being rudely interrupted, it has come to the notice of the higher-up authoritarians that there is a disagreeable amount of uncontrolled and spontaneous laughter taking place in isolated parts of the feral republic. It goes without saying that such unrestrained mirth could spread, and undermine national security. It must be nipped in the bud forthwith. What is so hilarious, anyway? The government has amply ensured that the state of the country is no laughing matter.
Our founding grandfathers had the foresight to promulgate the Laughter and Satire Act 2073 BS which categorically states that in times of grave national emergency the state can, for a temporary period, suspend an individual’s perfectly natural urge to giggle, snigger, chuckle, chortle, or even guffaw if the situation so demands.
Such a crisis is now at hand. Laughter could spread by word-of-mouth and foot-and-mouth, lowering the morale of our uncivil servants. It is to protect the organs of the state from grievous harm that the government is invoking the Claws 5 of the Laughter and Satire Act to ban all unauthorised jocularity and mirth until further notice.
However, Nepal is a civilised state where there are some constitutional provisions to protect the universal right of citizens to, from time to time, let off some gas. There are people who, for medical reasons, cannot stop laughing. Others do not know whether to laugh or cry. For them, the government has announced a special nationwide anti-laughter vaccination campaign. Field trials have shown that administering jabs pre-tested on laboratory rats can halt an outbreak, and stop infectious laughter from going viral.
Diplomats are also exempt from the Laughter Ban since their conduct in the host country is governed by the Vienna Convention and its Annexure 13 (d) which states: ‘In cases where the recipient state has suspended its sense of humour, consular missions and their resident staff will enjoy diplomatic impunity and be allowed to vent a little steam as long as they don’t indulge in boisterous glee that could contaminate passersby.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister warned Nepal’s heartless editors on Tuesday to be careful not to cross the line, since he who laughs best laughs last.