A show by stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui has been organized in an auditorium in Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka, which has been red flagged by the local police. In a letter to the Good Shepherd Auditorium in Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru, the police have asked the organizers to cancel the show, citing law and order.
The stand-up comedian’s latest show has been written to by the police after a similar event in Mumbai was canceled last month following threats from right-wing fringe group Bajrang Dal.
Earlier this year, Faruqui had to spend a month in jail for allegedly “insulting Hindu deities” during one of his comedy shows. Citing this, in the letter, the Bengaluru Police described Farooqui as a “controversial person” and referred to his show “Dongri to Nowhere”.
Comedian Munawar Faruqui responded to the cancellation of his show on Sunday with an emotional note. In a tweet he said, “Nafrat jeeta hai, artist haar gaya. [Hate has triumphed, the artist has lost]. I’m done! Goodbye! Injustice.”
In his statement, he said that his show on Sunday, which had sold more than 600 tickets, was cancelled under threats to vandalise the venue. “Putting me in jail for a joke I never did to cancelling my show which has nothing problematic in it. This is unfair,” he wrote.
Munawar added that they have secured a censor certificate for the show. “There’s clearly nothing problematic in the show!” Munawar said, adding that in the past two months, he has had to cancel 12 shows after similar threats were made to organisers and audiences where his shows were scheduled.
“Inki nafrat ka bahana ban gaya hoon. Hasa kar kitno ka sahara ban gaya hoon. Tootne pe inki Khwahish hogi puri Sahi kehte hai, mai Sitara ban gaya hoon (I have become an excuse for their hatred. By making people laugh, I have become a support for so many. Only when I break will their wish be fulfilled. What they say is right, I have become a star)” Munawar wrote.
“I think this is the end. My name is Munawar Faruqui and that’s been my time. You guys were a wonderful audience. Goodbye. I’m done,” he signed off.
Munawar Faruqui is a Gujarat-based comedian, and many of his shows have similarly been cancelled since January 2021, after he was arrested by the Indore police based on a complaint by a BJP MLA’s son that the jokes that “he was going to crack” at a show would be offensive.