oppn parties Banning Comedy Shows: Killing Laughter

News Snippets

  • Maratha quota bill likely to be tabled in Maharashtra assembly today
  • Arvind Kejriwal skips ED summons for the 6th time, says the case is in court and will follow court's decision
  • PM Modi says UP has gone from 'red tape' to 'red carpet' in 7 years of 'double engine' government
  • Farm unions reject government offers, to resume Delhi march from today
  • Centre says some Aadhar cards in Bengal 'deactivated' due to technical glitz, will be activated back soon
  • Supreme Court stays LS privilege panel summons to Bengal officials over BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar injury case
  • Supreme Court junks Sandeshkhali petition, says it cannot be compared to Manipur, asks petitioner to approach Calcutta HC
  • Supreme Court gets tough on Chandigarh mayoral elections, asks for ballot papers and video footage, does not order re-election
  • Government starts withdrawing old small tax demands, up to Rs 25000 per entry till FY 2009-10 and up to Rs 10000 per entry from FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15 with an overall ceiling of Rs 1 lakh per tax payer
  • Stocks remained positive on Monday: Sensex gained 281 points to 72708 and Nifty 81 points to 22122
  • Jasprit Bumrah likely to be rested for 4th Test while K L Rahul may be back
  • FIH Pro League hockey: India beat Spain 8-7 in shootout
  • SP leader Salim Sherwani, miffed at no Muslim candidate given RS ticket, quits party
  • Army going for big (Rs 57000cr) upgrade in combat vehicles to replace T-72 tanks
  • Mamata Banerjee says the BJP is doing nothing to resolve the Sandeshkhali dispute but instead fanning the fires to escalate it
History created in Supreme Court as Chandigarh mayoral poll ballots counted in court, judges declare AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar winner after taking into account the votes defaced by returning officer Anil Masih
oppn parties
Banning Comedy Shows: Killing Laughter

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2021-12-01 14:05:45

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

In the latest round of intolerance against comedians, it was Vir Das who was first trolled for his excellent monologue Two Indias at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. Within days, it was the turn of Munawar Faruqui to face the music when his show in Bangalore was cancelled after the city police denied permission 'fearing' a law-and-order situation. Now comes the news that that Kunal Kamra's shows, once again in Bangalore, scheduled for the next 20 days on the trot, have been cancelled as permission was not granted to seat 45 people at the venue which Kamra claims can seat many more than that.

It is becoming clear that administrations in India (Faruqui's show was cancelled even in Raipur in Chhattisgarh, the state that is ruled by the Congress) will not allow comedy to flourish simply because stand-up comics, by the very nature of their calling, make people laugh by commenting on issues that occupy the public mind. Naturally, most of these jokes poke fun at the government. No authoritarian regime or sectarian (regardless of the fact whether they are based on religion, caste, creed or community) groups tolerate being made fun of.

But this is a tragedy. If people can laugh at being reminded that they can care for the PM but not find out anything about PM Cares, what is the harm? More serious criticism is penned by political commentators in the media. Even politicians make libelous charges from public forum that are as damning as they are distasteful. But most ruling dispensations wield the lathi on comedians (and other artistes) as they are easy targets.

Will a few groups decide whether Bangalore (or any other city for that matter) can enjoy an evening with Munawar Faruqui or Kunal Kamra? Will the police listen to such groups and continue to ban such shows? Is it not its duty to provide protection to the one who is threatened (in this case the comedians) instead of doing the bidding of these groups? Stand-up comedy has taken roots in India, even in smaller towns. People unwind and laugh their hearts out for an hour or so as these men ply their trade. A thousand Faruquis and Kamras and Virs will pop up with unfailing regularity if the government tries to silence them.