Threats of possible violence and security concerns forced the organisers of the Pune Comedy Festival 3.0, which wrapped up on Sunday, to call off a scheduled performance of one of the performing artistes, Rahul Subramanian. The stand-up comic had recently posted a clip from his comedy special, ‘Kal Main Udega’, in which he took a dig at DJs. However, the jokes didn’t go down well with a few DJs, who took to social media to vent their anger. Some even threatened harm. Matters escalated when some DJs allegedly turned up at an event where Subramanian was performing in Gurgaon.
From March 30 to April 1, the third edition of the Pune Comedy Festival had been organised at the Royal Palms in Koregaon Park. It was organised by The Classic Rock Coffee Co. A huge line-up of comics were scheduled to perform at the festival. They included Zakir Khan, Atul Khatri, Kanan Gill, Sumukhi Suresh, Abish Matthew, and Subramanian. Subramanian’s act was pulled out at the last minute.
On Twitter and Facebook, Subramanian has spoken about the episode, the criticism it has received and even threats from the DJs. “I was performing in Gurgaon and I was informed that there were some people waiting for me outside the venue, one of them a guy who had apparently threatened to beat me up if he ever met me,” says his post.
— Rahul Subramanian (@RahulSubramanic) March 28, 2018
On Sunday, Avinash Agarwal, master franchisee of The Classic Rock Coffee Co and event organiser, took to the stage at the Pune Comedy Festival to explain why. “Many of you are aware of the threat from DJs that he received. We were forced to cancel his performance owing to security concerns and to avoid any disruption to this event,” he said.
Agarwal also expressed his own disappointment at the state of affairs. He said people must learn to take comedy in its spirit, adding that if people started taking offence at everything being expressed then very few subjects would be left for comedians. Meanwhile, many fans took to social media to express their disappointment and support for Subramanian.