Several comedians, including Varun Grover, Vir Das and Rohan Joshi, have criticised the arrest of stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui, a day after he was held for alleged indecent remarks made against Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Faruqui, a comedian from Gujarat, was arrested along with four others on Saturday after the son of a BJP MLA complained against him.
A local court later rejected their bail pleas and sent them in judicial custody. Grover took to Instagram and alleged that Faruqui was “beaten up”.
The Sacred Games writer shared a video where the comedian is trying to reason with Eklavya Singh Gaur, son of local BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaur, who had filed the complaint.
“A fellow Indian, a fellow comedian is in jail and got beaten up by a mob because of the words he uttered. Here he’s trying to logically, calmly present his case but our systems now just want to brutally silence every voice.
“They don’t want to hear, they don’t want to even argue – they want to simply erase every shred of individual thought, every iota of reason. And we the people of the greatest civilization of earth are ok with it,” Grover wrote.
Das took to Twitter and wrote that it is futile to stop humour and to try and “control” it. “You can’t stop jokes and laughter. Not because comedians are performing it, but because people need to laugh. Harder you try, the more you’re going to be laughed at, now, and by history. Anyone who has ever tried to control humour, now has a category of jokes devoted to them,” Das tweeted.
You can’t stop jokes and laughter. Not because comedians are performing it, but because people need to laugh. Harder you try, the more you’re going to be laughed at, now, and by history.
Anyone who has ever tried to control humour, now has a category of jokes devoted to them.
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) January 3, 2021
He also posted screenshot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2017 tweet, when he talked about the importance of humour.
“I think we need more satire and humour. Humour brings happiness in our lives. Humour is the best healer,” the prime minister had said in the tweet.
Das captioned the image: “I’m just going to leave this here.” According to Gaur, he and his associates had gone to watch the show and when they heard the “indecent” comments, they forced the organisers to stop the programme.
As per the complaint, indecent remarks were passed against Hindu gods and goddesses and the Union home minister during the show, in-charge of Tukoganj police station Kamlesh Sharma said.
Comedian Rohan Joshi shared Faruqui’s video where he is trying to reason with those offended with his jokes.
“Turns out now you can just assault people while they’re doing their job and the cops will take ‘them’ to the police station,” Joshi captioned the video.
Comedian Kaneez Surka and Abish Mathew also shared the clip of Faruqui on Instagram.
“Watch this, that’s all and then share it,” Surka wrote. While Mathew added, “Seven minutes of @munawar.faruqui trying to reason but still…”
“High risk individuals to be vaccinated first. So comedians must be up there on the list, wrote comic Neeti Palta alluding to the incident in a Facebook post as India approved Oxford’s and Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccines for restricted emergency use on Sunday.
On Saturday, Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Aman Singh Bhuria refused to grant bail to Faruqui and other four and remanded them in judicial custody till January 13.