Stand up comedian Munawar Faruqui on Sunday, November 28, hinted that he may not do any more shows, a day after his scheduled event in Bengaluru was cancelled. Police had "advised" the organisers to call it off citing possible law and order problems. The comedian was supposed to perform at the Good Shepherd Auditorium at 5 pm with his show titled 'Dongri to Nowhere'.
The Bangalore City Police had said that the organisers of the event, scheduled to be held on November 28 evening, "should cancel the show", as several groups are opposed it and this "could create chaos and could disturb the public peace and harmony, which may further lead to law and order problems", reported The Hindu. The police issued the letter on November 27 night. Meanwhile, in a social media post, the comedian said, "Nafrat jeet gayi, artist haar gaya (hate has won, artist has lost). I'm done, goodbye. Injustice."
"Putting me in jail for the joke I never did to cancelling my shows, which has nothing problematic in it. This is unfair. This show has gained so much love from people in India irrespective of their religion. This is unfair. We do have censor certificate of the show and it's clearly nothing problematic in the show. We called off 12 shows in the last two months because of threats to venue and audience," the comedian said in the post.
The comedian spent a month in jail earlier this year on charges of "insulting Hindu gods and goddesses" during one of his shows. The show being cancelled in Bengaluru comes close on the heels of 12 shows of the comic being similarly cancelled by the police in Maharashtra and Gujarat this month alone, following a drive by Hindutva right-wing organisations calling for a ban on the artiste and threatening protests if his shows are held.
No Country For Comedians?
The country seems to be becoming increasingly intolerant of comedians. Last week, a police complaint was lodged against standup comedian and actor Vir Das by a Delhi BJP member for allegedly using derogatory statements against women and India in a performance. Das recently uploaded a video titled 'I come from two Indias' on social media, which was part of his performance at John F Kennedy Center in Washington DC.