'Comedians welcome at Hyderabad, we are truly cosmopolitan': KTR's dig at Bengaluru

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Mass Mutual office in Hyderabad, KTR claimed that the TRS government is tolerant of opposition.
KT Rama Rao in a violet shirt, looking to the right of the camera
KT Rama Rao in a violet shirt, looking to the right of the camera
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After stand-up comedians Munawar Faruqui and Kunal Kamra’s shows were cancelled in Bengaluru over threats from Hindu groups, Telangana Minister for IT and Industries and TRS working president KT Rama Rao (KTR) said that the comedians have an “open invite” to perform in Hyderabad. KTR used the opportunity to invite people to Hyderabad, claiming that the TRS government is tolerant of opposition and that it is more metropolitan than Bengaluru.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Mass Mutual office in Hyderabad on Friday, December 17, the minister said, “In our city, stand-up comedians get an open invite. We don’t cancel shows of Munawar Faruqui and Kunal Kamra just because we are not aligned with them politically.” Taking a potshot at Bengaluru by saying that it is not a “true” metropolitan city, he further said,  “I am just saying that to people listening from Bengaluru or those people who are from Bengaluru, you claim to be a cosmopolitan city, and then you end up taking comedy very seriously. We (Hyderabad) are a truly cosmopolitan city who are welcoming of all cultures, welcoming of criticism. You can come here, criticise the government… in fact, we receive a lot of brickbats from our opposition every day. We are very tolerant,” he said.

Earlier, comedian Kunal Kamra announced that his shows in Bengaluru that had been scheduled from December 1 and 19 had been cancelled due to threats to shut down the venue. Kamra was set to perform a show titled ‘Kunal Kamra Live’ at a venue in Bengaluru’s JP Nagar on the said days. Sources close to the comedian had said that while his shows had been cancelled for similar reasons in other states, this was the first time that a show was cancelled in Bengaluru.

Similarly, days before Kunal Kamra’s show, stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s show ‘From Dongri to Nowhere’ had been cancelled in Bengaluru following threats from Hindu groups. The Bengaluru police on November 27, just a day before Faruqui’s show, had asked the Good Shepherd auditorium in the city’s Ashok Nagar area, the venue where the show had to take place,  to cancel.

The Bengaluru police had written to the organisers that Munawar is a ‘controversial figure’ and in the light of threats on social media made by Hindu groups like Jai Shri Ram Sena Sanghathan and the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, there could be a law and order issue if the show is allowed to be held.

Munawar’s show was to be held at the Good Shepherd auditorium on Sunday, November 28, and the organisers said that 700 tickets for the show had been sold before the cancellation of the show.

Munawar Faruqui is a stand-up comedian from Gujarat, who was arrested in 2021 by the Indore police after a BJP MLA’s son said that the jokes that “he was going to crack” at a local show are offensive.

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