‘What was his crime?’: Fans of Faruqui livid as show is cancelled

Art & Culture Bengaluru Event Governance Top Story

Many fans and fellow comedians are upset over the cancellation of Munawar Faruqui’s standup show that was organized for Sunday at the Good Shepherd Auditorium, Bengaluru.

Rajvardhan Thakur, 16, a fan, is deeply hurt by the situation. “It is very sad…. Society tries to draw the line about topics which you can joke about. Taboo topics become tempting for comedians who try to use them because nobody expects to hear them . When you go to a show, you are allowed to get offended by a joke and you are free not to laugh, leave the show and continue with your life. But to take it to this level is bad.”

Amina Khot, 21, said: “This is unfair. We have lost a great artiste today. What was his crime? Making jokes? I don’t know what kind of democracy we are living in. If you don’t like a joke, just walk away, but don’t make the comedian leave his comedy behind. What happened to him is in violation of his freedom of speech and… because he is a Muslim.” Khot hopes the comedian will come back stronger.

On Sunday, Faruqui took to Twitter and Instagram to announce he was deeply saddened by the  official response to his planned show. “I think this is the end.”

His fans on social media gathered in support of the artiste.

Pavan Venugopal, a Bengaluru-based standup comedian, said, “I am deeply saddened by the situation. We live in a world where anyone can get offended anytime. What we can do as comedians is to try and scrutinize our jokes in such a way that it doesn’t hurt anyone’s sentiments. I am sure that Munawar will come back stronger and resume his shows.”

Siddharth Dash, the manager of Curtain Call Events, Bengaluru, said: “We were informed by the police that there might be some unprecedented situation during the show and we didn’t want to get into such a situation and that’s why we cancelled the show. Munawar is an emotional person and that is why posted on Instagram and Twitter. It is a sad situation as 12 of his shows have been cancelled up until now.”

Alwyn Mendonca, the manager of Good Shepherd Auditorium, said he had received a letter from the police saying that Munawar is a “controversial figure” and there might be some disturbance during the show. “We didn’t want any vandalization of property. That’s why I informed the organizers about the whole situation. They could’ve asked for police protection, but the show was cancelled altogether.

An official at the Ashok Nagar police station shared: “We got information that there were some people who had purchased tickets to create nuisance at the show. We called up the organizers and told them that we have this information. They asked us to send a letter asking to cancel the show and we sent it. If they had asked for police protection, we would have done that too. We have no contact with the comedian or his manager, we had solely talked to the organizers.

“As police, our top priority is to maintain order and harmony in the city. If there is a threat, we will try to eliminate it,” he added.

The deputy commissioner of police refused to comment on the matter.



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