Comedians Varun Grover, Vir Das and Rohan Joshi, have come out in support of stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui, a day after the latter and four others were arrested for alleged ‘indecent remarks’ he made against Hindu deities during a comedy show. Faruqui also allegedly made unwelcoming remarks on Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the show organised in Indore.
A local BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaur’s son Eklavya Singh Gaur (36), lodged a complaint against Faruqui and four others upon which they were arrested, police said. A local court later rejected their bail pleas and sent them in judicial custody.
Rallying behind Faruqui, 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.
The comedian also shared an eye-witness account of someone who attended Faruqui’s stand-up comedy event on Twitter that reiterated that the latter had not said anything derogatory.
A brief account of a person in the audience who attended Munawar Faruqui's stand-up comedy event in Indore, MP.It says: "No derogatory remarks were made by Munawar Faruqui at the Indore Show." pic.twitter.com/XcDiQRON2k
— Hussain Haidry (@hussainhaidry) January 3, 2021
Vir 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.
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. 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.
“The Godhra incident and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were also mentioned inappropriately during the show. Such objectionable talks were going on during the comedy show. We made a video of them and stopped the show by taking the audience out of the cafe. Then we caught the comedians and organisers of the show and took them to Tukoganj police station," he said.
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.
(With inputs from PTI)