Ahead of standup comedian Munawar Faruqui’s proposed ‘Gujarat Tour’ show in different cities of Gujarat, the militant Bajrang Dal from the state pledged that it wouldn’t let him perform and also issued a warning to the organisers to cancel his shows.
According to the BookMyShow website, Munawar Faruqui is scheduled to do three shows – Dongri to Nowhere – in Gujarat next month. The first is scheduled at Sanjeev Kumar Auditorium in Surat on October 1, the second at HK College Auditorium at Ahmedabad and the third at Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Nagargruh in Vadodara.
Bajrang Dal’s convener of north Gujarat Jvalit Mehta on September 25 said in a video message that he tweeted, “Munawar Faruqui has been habitually ridiculing Hindu gods and goddesses. He has been hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus with his comedy. The Hindu society has been tolerant, but the Bajrang Dal is not. Bajrang Dal knows how to give tit for tat”.
He added that the Bajrang Dal will not allow any show of Faruqui to be held in Gujarat. “I am saying this to the organisers. Cancel all his shows. If you do not, be ready to face the consequences – financial, physical and mental. No matter what, Bajrang Dal will now allow these shows to be held in Gujarat,” said Mehta.
Jvalit Mehta said that his organisation is still attempting to identify the show organizer. “Bajrang Dal activists will be present at all three locations in the three cities to ensure the shows are not held,” Mehta said. Earlier this year, Faruqui was arrested at Indore in Madhya Pradesh on charges of flouting Covid-19 norms and hurting religious sentiments. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court, more than a month after his arrest.
The complainant alleged that the comedian was going to make objectionable statements about Hindu deities at his show. Faruqui was scheduled to perform but the Indore police detained him before he had actually begun his show. Aside from Faruqui, his associates and friends Nalin Yadav, Prakhar Vyas, Edwin Anthony and Priyam Vyas were also arrested on similar charges.
However, on January 4, the Indore Police admitted that there was no visual evidence to show that Faruqui had insulted the Hindu goddess. Faruqui’s arrest triggered indignation. Diasporic Indian organisations, Indian and international stand-up comics, along with filmmakers, artists, and writers have issued a statement called for the full dismissal of all charges against comedian Munawar Faruqui and five others arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.