The recent arrest of comedian Munawar Faruqui has been oddly in the news. Why oddly? Well, it’s not a new thing in India to control our words or actions. Especially when it comes to humor then it’s like a cherry on the cake. Because comedians nowadays are vastly known for using freedom of speech to express the reality of the state and present it in a satirical manner to us.
In the case of Munawar Faruqui, he was arrested for allegedly insulting Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Along with Manawar they even arrested four others. This incident took place in Indore where Munawar was performing. Well, after going through the whole incident we would like to present these 3 mind-boggling takeaways:
1. In the memory lane of Hindu extremists, 4 years is not an odd or long timeline
The joke was from a four-year-old stand-up video for which Munawar had already received death threats and online hate. Just 8 months back Munawar had already experienced the hostility for the video and for which FIR had also been lodged in the Mumbai police station. He had even issued an apology to the public. This time or as we like to judge the overwhelming scenario, after 4 long years, Munawar had to apologize again in the show. It was clear that it was a pre-planned attack and the sentiments very deeply hurt by the humor. (Intended Sarcasm)
2. Two days after the arrest, Police confirmed having no evidence on Munawar’s arrest
The Indore Police on Sunday said they had no video evidence to show that comedian Munawar Faruqui insulted Hindu deities during a performance at a cafe in the city, The Indian Express reported. Kamlesh Sharma, the town inspector of Tukaganj Police Station, told the newspaper that the video submitted by the son of a BJP MLA showed another comedian making jokes about the deity Ganesh. “There’s no evidence against him [Faruqui] for insulting Hindu deities or Union Minister Amit Shah,” Sharma said.
3. Humour is the best healer: PM Modi
After the arrest, a number of comedians took to their social media handles and expressed ‘How humor has been controlled in this country.’ Comedian Vir Das took to Twitter and wrote that it is futile to stop humor 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 a screenshot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet from 2017, which spoke about the importance of satire and humor.
I’m just going to leave this here. pic.twitter.com/C8eqqDzPya
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) January 3, 2021
Punit Pania, who is known for his political comedy, opened up and said, “Many political careers have been launched with violent acts. So the incident is not surprising. What is disappointing is that the perpetrators are proudly claiming to have disrupted the show and ‘caught’ the artists. The normalization of physical abuses and vigilantes has to be opposed as strongly as possible. Law and order aligning with mob justice are very dangerous.”
These 3 takeaways tell us the harsh reality of our country. And with due respect to all masses out there who are hurt by Munawar jokes, well he had already apologized for the same 8 months back. And we also request for future reference, it would be nicer if the number of apologies would be specified. Because in this case we really don’t know how many times Munawar have to apologize again and again and again and to be continued.