Militant Hindutva group Bajrang Dal said on Sunday that it will not allow Munawar Faruqui to perform in Gujarat, two weeks after the comedian announced his three-date ‘Gujarat Tour’. Faruqui is scheduled to perform in Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara over the Gandhi Jayanti weekend.
The announcement came from Jwalit Mehta, the convenor of the North Gujarat Bajrang Dal, who told the Times of India that “Hindus have been tolerant but the Bajrang Dal is not. Bajrang Dal knows tit for tat.”
Mehta also threatened the organisers of the shows with “financial, physical and mental consequences” if they did not call off the events. The Bajrang Dal’s Gujarat unit has been making the headlines recently, with members burning copies of the Kama Sutra at a protest in Ahmedabad last month.
Faruqui has been targeted by Hindutva activists before, most notably in January 2021 when his show in Indore was disrupted by a group led by the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party politician, whose complaint led to the arrest of the comedian and four others. The complainant Eklavya Singh Gaur accused Faruqui of planning to make jokes that would offend Hindu sentiments, leading to his detention before he could perform his set.
Faruqui spent over a month in custody despite the police admitting that they had no visual evidence of the comedian insulting any Hindu deities, eventually being granted interim bail relief in February 2021. You can watch the 10-minute video Faruqui dropped after his release below.