In the thick of cancel culture

Aditya Kaushik, a Delhi-based comedian, comes out in support of Munawar Faruqui, dubbing the cancellation of the latter’s show as an outcome of “adding communal and political angles to it for their own benefits.”

Munawar Faruqui - in the thick of cancel culture

A still from one of Munawar Faruqui's shows. (Instagram)

Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s gig in Delhi was denied permission by the Delhi police, only days after his show was cancelled in Bengaluru. The comedian was scheduled to perform at the Y B Chavan auditorium, but his manager stated the show had been cancelled.

Faruqui, who has been at the center of controversies led by a section of people who accused him of “hurting their religious sentiments”, had to also spend over a month in jail though the police had found no evidence of his crime last year in January.

The Delhi Police has denied Munawar Faruqui permission to play in his forthcoming show, which was scheduled to take place at Dr SPM Civic Centre, Kedarnath Sahni auditorium from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in order to avert communal protests warned by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

However, Aditya Kaushik, a fellow Delhi-based comedian who will be performing next in September, comes out in support of Munawar Faruqui, dubbing the cancellation of the latter’s show as an outcome of “adding communal and political angles to it for their own benefits.”

“Everyone is trying to take advantage of the situation of the ongoing controversy; they’re all adding communal and political angles to it for their own benefits. There are many more comedians that make political and communal jokes, and there are comics who perform by insulting the audience and are generally detested by the majority of the audience, yet their concerts are not cancelled,” he said.

Speaking on the sensitive nature of communal and political humour, Kaushik said, “We are careful when doing our job and try not to harm anyone’s sentiments, and the audience understands it. Worst could be that they don’t laugh at the joke, but this kind of cancel culture is too much.”

He continues, “I personally have done shows with a part of political jokes, but I haven’t witnessed anyone in the audience getting violent or not coming up to the shows.”

Another comedian, Vishal Dubey, who has been active in the scene of standup comedy for the last eight years, stated, “I’ve never faced extreme hate for any joke and in the last two years, i’ve performed regularly there have been days where shows are cancelled due to lack of audience participation but such extreme measures rarely happen in the comedy scene.”

He further adds that every comic has their own content, some stay away from the political sets, some embrace it, some perform anecdotes and should be careful with what they are presenting and try not to offend anyone no one does it purposely but these days we have to be extra careful as everything is taken off in a wrong way by some section of the society.

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