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Vadodara's MS University Cancels 'Controversial' Comedian Kunal Kamra's Show

While the university claimed that it has cancelled the show as it does not want the institution to be dragged into any controversy, those against Kamra’s show say it is not his political ideology, but his utterances against the armed forces, the Supreme Court and elderly people that made them oppose it.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:July 23, 2018, 3:42 PM IST
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Vadodara's MS University Cancels 'Controversial' Comedian Kunal Kamra's Show
Image tweeted by Kunal Kamra from his official account @kunalkamra88/Twitter
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Vadodara: The prestigious Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) in Vadodara has called off stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra's show after receiving petitions that Kamra was “anti-national” and a supporter of the “Tukde Tukde Gang”. Kamra was to perform at the University's CC Mehta Auditorium on August 11.

While the university claimed that it has cancelled the show as it does not want the institution to be dragged into any controversy, those against Kamra’s show say it is not his political ideology, but his utterances against the armed forces, the Supreme Court and elderly people that made them oppose it.

Comedian Kunal Kamra had tweeted: "Ever been so cool that you find out from the news that you’re not working on a particular day? Celebrating my day off in the future on my day off today."




However, the coordinator of the programme called up Kamra and verbally informed him that the show had been cancelled.

Dr Joshi begins his letter addressed to the MSU vice chancellor by quoting George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Further in the letter, though, Dr Joshi writes, "What message do we want to convey by organising such anti-national flagbearer youth comedian's show in Gujarat’s most prestigious university campus? He (kunal Kamra) has mimicked our national anthem and has openly supported 'Tukde Tukde Gang'. He has been opposed by all the patriotic universities in the nation, then why are we allowing him to enter our sacred alma mater? We seriously suspect some ideological conspiracy to pollute the minds of Barodian youth ahead of 2019."

Speaking to News18, Dr Hemang Joshi clarified that he was not against either freedom of expression or against the artist because he is a critic of Prime Minister Modi. "Vadodara is known as the `sanskaari nagri’ of the country and some of the statements by Kunal Kamra are outright unacceptable. He has not just spoken out against the Supreme Court and our armed forces, but has even uttered unacceptable words about the elderly people of the country. I really have no objection over his political statements or his leaning towards any political group. What I cannot accept is his utterances against the armed forces, the Supreme Court and older people of this country,” Dr Joshi said.

Speaking to News18, Maharaja Sayajirao University Vice Chancellor Parimal Vyas said that the university held nothing personal against Kunal Kamra, but he would ensure that the institution is not dragged into any kind of controversy. Vyas stated that the primary responsibility of the MSU is to impart higher education and any events that are likely to lead to a law and order problem within the university premises ought to be discouraged.

“The University has nothing against the artist, but why should the MSU be drawn into any controversy? I have received representations from some quarters that the artist is controversial and that the show should not be allowed to be held on the university campus. I have asked the programme coordinator to inquire into the matter and take necessary action,” Vyas said. When told that Mr Kamra had already been informed that his show has been cancelled, the VC said: “ The committee must have taken an appropriate decision. My primary concern is that the university should not be dragged into any controversy and there should not be a law and order problem on the campus.”
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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