Munawar Faruqui Dropped From Comedy Festival After BJP Member's Complaint

Munawar Faruqui  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.12.2021
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Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui has not been able to perform in India since January as his 12 shows were cancelled because of threats from Hindu groups. They accused him of insulting Hindu Gods.
Munawar Faruqui has been removed from the line-up of those due to perform at the Gurgaon Comedy Festival by the organisers after a complaint against him by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member in India's Haryana state.
The event is one of the largest comedy festivals happening in Gurugram city (previously officially known as Gurgaon).
Organisers of the event on Tuesday told media that over the past two days, they have received “repeated calls” and online messages objecting to Faruqui’s taking part in the three-day festival, scheduled from 17 to 19 December.
Mubin Tisekar, the co-founder of The Entertainment Factory, which is organising the event, told the media: “We did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings or endanger the public … so we removed him from the panel. The decision was made yesterday, and we changed the poster and ticketing platform. For us, safety of artists and public is a priority … audience is everything”.
On Monday, Arun Yadav, head of the information technology department at BJP's Haryana unit, filed a police complaint against Faruqui, accusing him of insulting Hindu Gods and Goddesses and urging them to ensure that Faruqui didn't perform.
“To maintain peace and harmony between different sections of the society, I request you to look into the matter and stop him… His activities have offended my Hindu faith,” Yadav's complaint stated.
On 1 January, Faruqui was arrested in Indore, a city in Madhya Pradesh state for allegedly offending religious feelings. The accusations were made by Hindu group, Hind Rakshak Sangathan.
Though he was granted bail by India's supreme court, he has not been able to perform in the country since then. He was also blamed for making objectionable remarks against federal Home Minister, Amit Shah.
Faruqui has also been accused of mocking Hindu Karsevaks (religious volunteers), who were killed in Gujarat's Godhra area during a train burning incident in 2002. The incident left 59 people, mainly Hindu pilgrims, charred to death.
His show in Karnataka state capital Bengaluru was recently cancelled by police for law and order concerns. After the show was axed, he took to social media platforms saying: “Hatred won, an artist lost. I'm done, goodbye. Injustice.”
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