Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui on Tuesday, December 22, took to social media to announce that he will be performing a show in Hyderabad in January 2022. This comes days after Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao had taken a jibe at the BJP government in Karnataka, after stand-up comedians Munawar Faruqui and Kunal Kamra’s shows were cancelled in Bengaluru over threats from Hindu groups.
Munawar shared that he will be performing his show ‘Dhandho’ on January 9, 2022. As per the online booking website, while the venue is yet to be finalised, the two-hour show is filling fast. It is to be noted that this show seems to be different from the one he was to perform in Bengaluru earlier in December, which was called ‘Dongri to Nowhere.’
Munawar’s show had been cancelled in Bengaluru following threats from Hindu groups. The Bengaluru police had written to 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.
At the time, Munawar had posted an emotional note, saying, “I have become an excuse for their hatred. By making people laugh, I have become a support for so many. Only when I break will their wish be fulfilled.”
A few days later, Kunal Kamra’s upcoming show was also cancelled in Bengaluru. After this, KTR had extended an invite to stand-up comedians to perform in Hyderabad instead, saying that the TRS government is tolerant of opposition and that it is more metropolitan than Bengaluru.
“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,” KTR had 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,” KTR had said.
The cancellation of Munawar’s show in Bengaluru had triggered a lot of criticism, with allegations made against the Karnataka government that it was bowing to pressure from Hindu groups. The Bengaluru police had said that Munawar is a ‘controversial figure’ and his show could create law and order problems.
Munawar was arrested in January 2021 by the Indore police based on an FIR that was filed even before Munawar staged his show. The Indore police had claimed that the rehearsals indicated that Munawar would “hurt religious sentiments.” The Supreme Court granted him bail in this case in February 2021 and called the FIR against him ‘vague’.