‘Petty and shameful’: Shashi Tharoor reacts to cancellation of Munawar Faruqui show in Bengaluru

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“This is deplorable. Stifling freedom of expression takes many forms but threatening a stand-up comedian’s venue is petty and shameful,” Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday slammed the cancellation of comedian Munawar Faruqui’s show in Bengaluru which led the comedian to issue a statement on social media that he’s done with all this and wants to bid adieu to his art, as the artist has lost to hatred. “This is deplorable. Stifling freedom of expression takes many forms but threatening a stand-up comedian’s venue is petty and shameful,” the Congress leader tweeted.

After his shows were cancelled in Mumbai and Goa following the resistance of right-wing outfits, the comedian on Sunday said the Bengaluru show which was organised as a contribution to late Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar’s charitable organisation sold 600 tickets. The show also had a censor certificate, proving that there was nothing problematic in the stand-up act that the comedian was going to perform on Sunday.

 

Following the complaints by Sriram Sena and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, the inspector of the Ashokanagar police station in the city under whose jurisdiction the Good Shepherd Auditorium falls wrote a letter to the organisers on Saturday to call off the event as the comedian is a controversial figure. “It is learnt that Munawar Faruqui is a controversial figure….. Many states have banned his comedy shows. It is learnt that a case has been registered against him in the Tukoji police station in Indore of Madhya Pradesh,” the inspector said in his letter.

On January 1, Faruqui was arrested by the Indore Police in a case for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and was in jail for almost a month. He, however, said he was arrested before he started that show and old videos were used against him as evidence.

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