Updated: December 7, 2021 7:29:54 am
The organisers of Gurgaon Comedy Festival have dropped stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui from their line-up of performers citing “public safety”. Organisers said over the past two days, they received “repeated calls” and messages online opposing Faruqui’s participation in the 3-day festival, scheduled from December 17-19 at Airia Mall.
Mubin Tisekar, co-founder of The Entertainment Factory, which is organising the event, said, “We did not want to hurt anyone’s sentiments or put the public in danger… so we removed him from the panel. The decision was taken yesterday and we made changes on the poster and ticketing platform. For us, safety of artists and public is a priority… audience is everything.”
Tisekar said after the poster was put out, they faced backlash online: “After the tweets, we repeatedly got calls from everywhere. We did not want to go ahead with all that. I will not comment on who all were calling and complaining. At the end of the day… this business is about making people laugh.”
On Monday, Arun Yadav, Haryana head of BJP’s IT department, filed a police complaint against Faruqui, accusing him of insulting Hindu gods and goddesses and asking police to ensure he doesn’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,” wrote Yadav in the complaint.
“I had tweeted on December 4 first, saying that his shows shall not be allowed in Gurgaon or elsewhere. I filed a complaint with ACP Sohna today,” Yadav told The Indian Express.
Faruqui, who spent a month in Indore jail on charges of allegedly insulting Hindu gods and goddesses during a show, has seen several of his shows being cancelled following ultimatums by right-wing groups. These include shows in Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai and Raipur. After a recent show in Bengaluru was cancelled, with local police citing law and order, Faruqui posted online: “Nafrat jeet gayi, artist haar gaya (hate has won, artist has lost). I’m done, goodbye. Injustice.”
Asked if he was aware that a police complaint had been filed against Faruqui’s participation, Tisekar, said, “Yes, we are aware.”
Aman Yadav, ACP, Sadar, who has the additional charge of ACP Sohna, said, “A complaint has been received against Faruqui, raising objection to his participation in a festival to be held in Gurgaon and regarding content of some of his videos online.”
Faruqui’s manager declined to comment.
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