The West Bengal police clearly erred in arresting BJP youth wing functionary Priyanka Sharma for sharing a morphed picture of the state\u2019s chief minister Mamata Banerjee \u2013 her face was morphed on to actor Priyanka Chopra\u2019s body at a Met Gala function recently \u2013 on social media since, by no stretch of the imagination, could this be construed a crime or an attack on the chief minister\u2019s rights or freedom. The morphed picture wasn\u2019t particularly funny \u2013 but Sharma wasn\u2019t arrested for her poor sense of humour \u2013 but the point is that cartoonists make fun of politicians for a living every day, as do stand-up comedians, so if offence is going to be taken so easily, a lot more people will be jailed every day. Given this, when the case went to the Supreme Court, it was expected it would take less than a minute to grant Sharma bail \u2013 that is a right everyone enjoys in most cases \u2013 and to censure the West Bengal police for the uncalled for arrest. Instead, the vacation bench judges asked Sharma to apologize to the chief minister at the time of her release \u2013 initially, it appeared the apology was a pre-condition for the bail, but if it has to be given after the release, it really amounts to the same thing. Also read:\u00a0Relief for Priyanka Sharma: SC grants bail to BJP leader arrested for posting Mamata Banerjee's morphed picture Indeed, given how most Indian politicians take offence at such humour \u2013 even parties that now preach the virtue of tolerance and promise to revoke the anti-sedition law have jailed cartoonists in the past \u2013 it was hoped the Supreme Court would put an end to this by keeping the bigger picture in mind. Its insistence on an apology if the BJP youth activist is to be released, however, shows that is not. Interestingly, as The Indian Express cartoonist EP Unny points in an article today, politicians seem to have become thinner skinned over the years. While giving the example of various cartoons that have attracted the ire of political parties in the recent past, he recalls Abu Abraham\u2019s cartoon on President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad signing an ordinance while in the bathtub and angrily telling his attendant \u201cif there are any more ordinances, just ask them to wait\u201d; amazingly, this appeared at the peak of the Emergency when civil liberties were mostly given the go by. In response to one cartoon that lampooned the DMK a few years ago, Unny recalls the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court as having said, in 2018, \u201cto apply the yardsticks of defamation in the case of cartoons, the threshold must be very high \u2026 law envisages a reasonable person and not a touch and hypersensitive individual\u201d. Pity even the Supreme Court doesn\u2019t seem to have taken this advice. The Supreme Court is at pains to point out that, had the reposting not been done by a political person, it may have acted differently, which is why its order talks of \u201cthe special circumstances of the case\u201d. But this is precisely the problem, why should the rules of satire apply differently? Will actor Urmila Matondkar be asked to give an apology by the Supreme Court for her tweet making fun of prime minister Modi\u2019s statement that, while the Air Force was in favour of pushing back the Balakot strikes because of bad weather, Modi felt the cloudy weather would reduce the ability of Pakistan\u2019s radars to spot India\u2019s planes; along with a picture of her with her dog, the tweet says \u201cthank God for the clear sky and no clouds so that my pet Romeo\u2019s ears can get the clear RADAR signals\u201d, and this is followed by a smiley! It is not clear which is worse, the Supreme Court taking such a hard line on humour or taking out so much time for such unimportant cases \u2013 the case is to be heard again \u2013 while there are crores of pending cases.