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Munawar Faruqui Says ‘Goodbye’ Following Cancellation of Bengaluru Show; 12 Shows Called Off in 2 Months, Notes Comedian

Comedian Munawar Faruqui implied his exit from stand-up comedy in a social media post on Sunday following the forced cancellation of his show in Bengaluru that was scheduled for later the same day.


Faruqui, who has increasingly come under fire from Hindu-extremist groups, wrote, “Aaj Bangalore show cancel ho gaya [The Bangalore show got cancelled today] (Under threats of venue vandalism). We sold 600+ tickets.”

“Putting me in jail for the joke I never did to cancelling my show which has nothing problematic in it. This is unfair. This show has gained so much love from people in India irrespective of their religion. This is unfair. We do have censor certificate and there’s clearly nothing problematic in the show! We called off 12 shows in last 2 months because of threats to venue and audience,” he added.

“I think this is The End. My name is Munawar Faruqui and that’s been my time. You guys were a wonderful audience. Goodbye! I’m done,” the comedian wrote.

Faruqui was referring to the dozen performances of his Dongi To Nowhere show that were scheduled to be held in cities like Mumbai and Ahmedabad earlier this year, which were cancelled following threats from Bajrang Dal, the Hindu nationalist militant organisation that forms the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). The last shows to be called off before the one in Bengaluru on Sunday were to take place in earlier this month in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

He also refers to his arrest on January 1 in Indore for allegedly “hurting religious sentiments” with his show there. When Faruqui was performing in the Madhya Pradesh city, local BJP legislator Malini Laxman Singh Gaur’s son Aklavya Gaur Singh, who claimed to be the head of a youth organisation named Hind Rakshak, went on stage and disrupted the show. The comedian, and those in the audience who raised their voice in support of Faruqui, were manhandled.

Later, Faruqui, his friend Sadakat Khan, who was in the audience, three other comedians performing at the show, and the event coordinator were all arrested.

Faruqui, who was accused of cracking jokes on Hindu deities, Godhra riots, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the show, was denied bail several times despite lack of video evidence. He was finally granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on February 5 and released the following day.

Later, in September, the Bajrang Dal had said that it would not allow the comedian to perform in Gujarat and had threatened the organisers to cancel the scheduled shows or face consequences. In October, three shows in Mumbai were cancelled by Faruqui citing concerns about “audience safety,” following similar threats. And in November, his shows in Raipur were called off after the Bajrang Dal threatened organisers.

He was scheduled to perform in Bengaluru on Sunday at a charity show planned in association with late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s organisation, Faruqui mentioned in his note. The now cancelled show was scheduled to take place at Good Shepherd Auditorium.

Earlier on Sunday, a Times of India report stated that Bengaluru police had written to the organisers, asking them to call off the performance.


According to the letter acquired by Article 14, the Inspector at the Ashoka Nagara Police Station in the city “suggested” that the organisers, Curtain Call Events, cancel Faruqui’s show citing that there was “credible information that several organizations (are) opposing this stand-up comedy show performed by Munawar Faruqui,” which could “create chaos and could disturb the public peace and harmony which may further lead to law and order problems.” The letter, dated November 27, also mentioned the case registered against Faruqui in Madhya Pradesh and noted that “many states” have banned his shows.

This letter was seemingly sent in response to one from the organisers to the police informing them about the show and accepting “full responsibility in case of any unwanted incident.”

An unnamed senior officer told TOI that the police had not given permission for the Bengaluru show and would therefore initiate legal action if the organisers continued with the event.

In view of this, the Bengaluru show appears to have been called off, also prompting the strong reaction from Faruqui.