A few days after comedian Munawar Faruqui announced quitting standup comedy, another comedian Kunal Kamra received threats and canceled his shows in Bengaluru. Known for his political comedy and his satirical take on current socio-political atmosphere, Kamra took to Twitter and Instagram to make his announcement.
The Mumbai-based comedian claimed that the venue received threats of shutting down if he were to perform, and thus he would be cancelling the shows. He further added that he didn’t get special permissions to have 45 people in the venue. He further jokingly compared himself to a new variant of virus and added, “I guess this is also part of the COVID protocol and new guidelines”.
We all have heard of stories of Birbal, Tenalirama, Kabir, Vidushak. They were the chosen satirists and court jesters. They were the voice of the dissent and put forth the voice of the common man in front of the Kings in their times.
However, with increased polarization, and indifference towards the intolerance we are filled with, even likes like above would’ve been cancelled or trolled. The solution is nowhere to be seen, and more and more satirists and comedians are facing threats. Threats, both to their lives and to their art form.
Comedian Kunal Kamra became the recent victim of the threats and announced cancellation of his shows that were to be held in Bengaluru.
The Facts of the Matter
Mumbai-based comedian Kunal Kamara is known for many things. He’s known for his podcast ‘Shut Up Ya Kunal’, he’s known for his stand-up comedy videos, some of whom have received over 22 million views. But primarily, he’s known for his polarizing political comedy, where he has bashed the current ruling government.
“I’m seen as Variant of Virus”: Kamra
Kamra recently took to his Instagram and Twitter to announced that he would be cancelling his standup comedy shows in Bengaluru. His statement regarding the cancellation read, “Firstly, we didn’t get special permissions to seat 45 people in the venue that can seat more. Secondly, threats have been made to shut down the venue if I were to ever perform there. I guess this is also part of the COVID-19 protocol and new guidelines. I suppose I am seen as a variant of the virus now.”
Kunal Compares Himself to Munawar Faruqui
He further compared the cancellation to the earlier cancelled shows of standup comedian Munawar Faruqui and claimed that both have been oppressed equally.
“For those on Twitter that have been wondering how ‘a Kamra goes on to perform while a Faruqui has had to quit comedy’ we can find solace in the fact that the ruling class is at-least trying to oppress with equality,” his tweet read.
Cancelling comedy shows 101.
— Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) December 1, 2021
Munawar Faruqui Quits Stand-up Comedy
The development comes just days after comedian Munawar Faruqui announced quitting stand-up comedy after 12 of his shows were cancelled. Munawar was scheduled to perform his show titled ‘Dongri to Nowhere’ at a Bengaluru based auditorium.
In his announcement, Faruqui said that it was his twelfth show that was cancelled in two months. Meanwhile, the organizers had claimed that they received “credible threats” from some organizations.
In his announcement, Munawar said, “Nafratjeetahai, artist haargaya (Hatred won, artist lost)”. He ended his announcement with, “I think this is the end, My Name is Munawar Faruqui and that’s been my time, you were a wonderful audience. Goodbye! I’m done.”
Nafrat jeet hai, Artist haar gaya.
Im done! Goodbye! INJUSTICE pic.twitter.com/la4xmaeQ0C
— munawar faruqui (@munawar0018) November 28, 2021