Bharatiya Janata Party MP Arvind Dharmapuri on Friday threatened to stop stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s upcoming show in Hyderabad, The News Minute reported.
Earlier this week, Faruqui had announced a show in the Telangana capital on January 9. His announcement came days after the state’s minister KT Rama Rao invited Faruqui and another comedian Kunal Kamra to perform in Hyderabad.
On Friday, Dharmapuri told reporters that Rama Rao, who is the son of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, should be ashamed for inviting Faruqui.
“Do you know who Munawar Faruqui is?” Dharmapuri said, according to The News Minute. “He has cracked jokes on Goddess Sita, who is worshipped by the majority of Hindus. While a state like Karnataka has banned him, KTR [KT Rama Rao] has welcomed him to Telangana to perform comedy. Has the Hindu society become a comedy to this father-son?”
Over the past few months, Faruqui’s shows have been cancelled in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Raipur, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Goa, and Mumbai as Hindutva groups and BJP leaders have constantly targeted him since he was arrested in January in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city on flimsy grounds.
Most recently, his event in Bengaluru on November 28 was also called off after the police warned the organisers against hosting a “controversial figure”. After this, Faruqui had indicated that he might quit performing stand-up comedy.
Three days after Faruqui’s show got cancelled, Kamra’s event in Bengaluru was also called off after threats were issued that the venue would be shut down. Kamra has been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government.
However, soon after KT Rama Rao and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh invited the two comedians to perform in Hyderabad and Bhopal. On December 18, Faruqui performed at a show in Mumbai organised by the All India Professional’s Congress of Maharashtra.
In January, Faruqui had been arrested from a venue in Indore based on a complaint filed by the son of a BJP leader about a purported joke that he had not even made. The complainant had alleged that the comedian was going to make objectionable statements about Hindu deities during the show. Faruqui spent 37 days in jail before the Supreme Court granted him bail.