‘Right to laugh’ Indian diaspora to host comic event in solidarity with Faruqui

A joint initiative of the worldwide Indian diaspora on Tuesday announced that a gathering of South Asian American professional comics will play out a virtual parody show on February 6 to show their fortitude with imprisoned Indian comedian Munawar Faruqui.

Faruqui was arrested for allegedly offending Hindu gods during a show, in spite of the police conceding they have no proof. The artist stays in prison since January 1, having been denied bail threefold by the courts.

The virtual comedy show, titled “The Right to Laugh”, is being organised by Reclaiming India on Saturday at 10.30 pm. The performers will include Myesha Chowdury, Sai D, Abby Govindan, Pallavi Gunalan, Apoorva Gundeti, Masood Haque, Rishi Mahesh, Yamini Nambimadom, and Amar Risbud, according to a statement.

“United by their belief in human rights and freedom of speech, these rising comedians will showcase their talents while also calling attention to the injustice that Faruqui has been facing for the past month,” the statement said.

Reclaiming India additionally brought up that that the simple doubt that Faruqui “was going to” make a hostile quip was sufficient for the Indore Police in Madhya Pradesh to arrest him. He was arrested based on a grumbling by Eklavya Singh Gaur, head of Hindutva bunch Hind Rakshak Sangathan. Gaur is the child of Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Malini Gaur.

“Faruqui’s arrest is part of a longer trend of artists, activists, and religious minorities coming under attack from the Hindu right and the Hindu nationalist BJP-led government of India,” it said. “As a young, outspoken Muslim comedian, Faruqui is an obvious target for Hindu nationalist groups, who have sought to stifle any form of dissent in today’s India.”

The arrest of Faruqui

On January 4, three days after his arrest, the Indore Police had said that there was no visual proof to show that Faruqui had offended Hindu gods.

Alongside Faruqui, four others – Nalin Yadav, Prakhar Vyas, Edwin Anthony and Priyam Vyas – were likewise captured on comparative charges.

After a day, Faruqui’s companion Sadaqat Khan was arrested for allegedly offering oppressive comments about Gaur.

Last month, Indore Superintendent of Police Vijay Khatri had told Article 14 that Faruqui had not made any jokes about Hindu deities, or even begun his performance. He admitted that the comedian was arrested on the basis of a Gaur’s claims that he had overheard jokes during rehearsal.

On January 28, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had said that there was by all appearances proof to propose that Faruqui had planned to outrage religious sentiments “under the garb of stand-up comedy “. Justice Rohit Arya, who articulated the judgment, had before this saved the orders on the bail application and showed that Faruqui “must not be spared”. He had additionally scrutinized Faruqui’s “mindset” behind his alleged jokes.