Uncertainty loomed large over comedian Munawar Faruqui’s upcoming event in Surat given the menacing threats by the Hindutva l organisations. The Surat show of the young comedian who found himself in a legal tangle last year is in limbo for now. Going by the indication of the online ticketing platform “Bookmyshow”’s delisting of Faruqui’s entire Gujarat tour named ‘Dongri to Nowhere’on its app, the show is cancelled, at least for now.
His shows in Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara were scheduled to take place on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad had significantly declared that the performer and the organisers should be ready for facing physical and material damage if they decide to go ahead with the show despite the warning.
Munawar Faruqui’s name garnered more share of controversy than he probably ever wished when in January 2021 during one of his shows at Indore, BJP activists stormed the stage and accusing him of a derogatory reference to Hindu Gods to incite laughs in an earlier programme, he was stopped from performing and was handed over the police.
Four others detained along with Faruqui on similar charges – Nalin Yadav, Prakhar Vyas, Edwin Anthony and Priyam Vyas – were given bail sooner or later. Faruqui had to languish for a longer time in jail as sessions court denied him bail twice before the Supreme Court granted him interim relief on February 5 ultimately.
The incident created a huge controversy with all ingredients of an interesting game of tug of war between right-wing and liberals on where exactly stand the point of turning the freedom of expression into objectionable content and the perception of discriminatory treatment meted out according to the religious identity of the accused.