The facts in the case matter very little when a majority of the mob, along with police and courts collaborate to target an artist (comedian) who identifies as a minority. After 18 days of police custody the comedian could now expect some relief, after the continued bullying against Munawar Faruqui, there is no proof of the allegations stating that he has hurt religious sentiments or insulted faith, crimes under India’s penal code.
The situation has gotten worst because Uttar Pradesh has dug up an old case against the comedian and submitted a production warrant at a court in Indore. Rather than granting him liberty, Faruqui will be simply handed over to the custody of Uttar Pradesh police.
How are the police reacting to this?
This trouble started on 1st January as he was approached when he was about to start his show in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The comedian then came face-to-face with a mob and then he was taken to the police station.
This ambush was a result of careful planning by a Hindutva vigilante group called the Hind Rakshak Sangathan. This action was a self-confessed trap. Aklavya Singh Gaur was the one who led this assault, who is the chief of the organization and son of a BJP MLA.
Munawar Faruqui hadn’t made any jokes about the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, also he had barely begun his performance when he was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police along with five others. The police are admitting (on record) that they had no evidence of any wrongdoings or the said jokes about the Hindu deities.
Rather than take action against the mob, the MP police, being blatant about its motivation, moving in support of it, penalizing the comedian for an act he didn’t commit. This continued bullying against Munawar Faruqui shows how the mob holds the justice system. The superintendent of the city justified this action with a redundant argument that Munawar Faruqui was about to insult the Hindu Gods and Goddesses anyway. To end it, the police officer also praised this act of vigilantism as “active and alert.”
Can we call it a mob state?
If you think police moving in favor of the mob was the bad part, then here’s something worse. Even though there was no evidence against Munawar Faruqui’s wrongdoings, the courts proceeded to keep him in jail and rejected his bail plea twice. The courts have cited law and orders to keep Munawar in jail, without any evidence against the comedian.
Even without a crime, a person could simply be put in prison on what is “charged” that his liberty would vitiate law and order, this is almost a direct link between India’s justice system and the mob. It proves that this continued bullying against Munawar Faruqui shows how the mob holds the justice system. Thinking about how the police had bent to the mob, this is even worse than India’s judiciary system.
India has been racing down the road of Hindu majoritarianism surprisingly for some time now. Directly targeting an artist like this because he is from a minority community while the mob is being indistinguishable from our country’s government or the judiciary system, portrays a picture of how far India has gone down the path of Hindu extremism.