The move by the Bengaluru police to cancel the Munawar Faruqui show has been heavily criticized by human rights activists in the city
Stand-up Comedian Munawar Faruqui on November 28, indicated that he will no longer be allowed to give shows the day after his scheduled event in Bengaluru was canceled. The police had “recommended” the organizers to cancel the event, citing possible legal and regulatory problems. Previously, its shows in other cities were canceled for similar reasons.
The city police had said that the organizers of the event, which on the evening of the 28th continue to lead to legal and regulatory problems “. The police released the letter on the night of November 27th.
Mr Faruqui, who had come to town for the show, left town on the morning of November 28th after posting a statement on his social media advising to leave the room. Lamenting that he was jailed for a joke he didn’t make and that 12 shows have been canceled in the past two months due to threats to the venue and the audience, he wrote, “I think this is the end. My name is Munawar Faruqui and that was my time, you were a wonderful audience. Goodbye! I’m done.”
The November 28 event organizers said Mr Faruqui was dejected at the systematic way he was targeted. Mr. Faruqui himself was not available for further comments.
Mr. Faruqui was arrested in Indore in January this year after a far-right Hindutva activist claimed he had vilified Hindu gods. He spent 37 days in jail before the Supreme Court released him on bail.
The Bengaluru police’s cancellation of the show comes shortly after 12 shows of the comic, similarly canceled by police in Maharashtra and Gujarat this month alone, following a campaign by right-wing Hindutva organizations calling for the artist to be banned and protests threatened when his shows take place.
The move of the city police has been heavily criticized by human rights activists in the city. “It is sad that a systematic campaign by Hindutva groups sank a comedian because of his religion alone,” said activist Vinay Sreenivasa. “It is sad to note that the threat of protest is tending to stifle freedom of expression in this city. Some groups cannot ransom the city. Society has to stand by the artist, ”said human rights activist BT Venkatesh.
In the city, Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, an organization whose alleged “former” members were charged with the murder of activist Gauri Lankesh and scholar MM Kalburgi, petitioned Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant on Saturday and submitted the letter labeled Chief Minister. tweeted Basavaraj Bommai, Interior Minister Araga Jnanendra, Bengaluru South MP Tejaswi Surya, Uttara Kannada MP Anantkumar Hegde among others.
The petition states that Mr. Faruqui has a habit of making “unacceptable” jokes about “Hindu Gods, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2020, Godhra Massacre of Karsevaks”. “Admitting Munawar Faruqui, who violates Hindu religious sentiments, offers him the opportunity to repeat these crimes.” The following question was also asked: “Should such a program, which disturbs the communal harmony, be allowed when the memories of the DJ Halli riots are still fresh?
Hours later, Ashok Nagar police released the letter to organizers, “advising” them to “cancel the show.” While the letter doesn’t mention the HJS petition, it does say they have credible information that several organizations are against the show. The organizers had informed the Ashok Nagar police in a letter dated November 15 about the “Dongri to Nowhere” show that they did not need to seek approval as it was an indoor show and the police had no objection to it until HJS asked the police. Police sources said they were pulled up for “not canceling the show earlier” and asked to cancel it immediately. Senior police officers refused to comment.
Mohan Gowda, spokesman for Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, Karnataka, tweeted on the morning of the 28th Bommai and Mr. Jnanendra “for the cancellation of the anti-Hindu program Munawar Faruqui in Bengaluru”.