He has been denied bail twice
Celebrities, politicians and journalists in India have criticised their government for arresting the stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui.
Faruqui was arrested on January 1 for “hurting Hindu sentiments” at a show in Indore, The Indian Express reported. The complaint was filed by Eklavya Singh Gaur, the son of Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Malini Gaur.
Several flocked to social media to condemn the comedian’s arrest and show their support for him. Taking to Twitter, Sacred Games star Kubbra Sait called the government “insensitive”.
#MunawarFaruqui how insensitive is our leadership to be sentimental towards jokes?
— Kubbra Sait (@KubbraSait) January 3, 2021
Actor Vir Das said that those who try to control humour become a joke themselves.
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
Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned why the court was not granting bail to Faruqui.
Why are the courts denying bail to journalist Siddique Kappan and comedian Munawar Faruqui?
Equality means equal access to justice and equal application of legal principles
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 21, 2021
Another congressman said the BJP has never cared about freedom and equality.
🇫🇷 Charlie Hebdo deserves full FoE
🇮🇳 Munawar Faruqui deserves no FoE
🇺🇲 No Discrimination, All are Equal
🇮🇳 Hindutva Rules, No Secularism
BJP Bhakts have never cared about Freedom or Equality. They are bigots who change stands to suit themselves.
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 3, 2021
Journalist Rana Ayyub tweeted that silence will only strengthen the injustice against Faruqui.
As someone with a public voice, I feel personally responsible and complicit for the incarceration of Munawwar Faaroqui. It is making me restless and helpless. Our silence is amplifying the injustice against him.
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) January 22, 2021
Faruqui’s second bail plea was rejected on January 5 by a Madhya Pradesh court.