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After a month in jail, Munawar Faruqui’s first video says ‘leaving comedy’, but there is a catch

munawar
Snippet from the video


Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui Sunday posted his first video on YouTube after spending nearly a month in a jail in Indore for allegedly making “indecent” jokes about Hindu gods, as well as India’s Home Minister Amit Shah.  

In the 10-minute video titled “Munawar Faruqui Leaving Comedy”, the stand-up comic apologised to his fans for a misleading title, and said he can never stay away from comedy.

 

“I want to say sorry to my fans. There is a typo in the title… Munawar Faruqui is not leaving comedy… Munawar Faruqui is living comedy. I can’t quit… it (comedy) keeps me alive. Those who hate.. we will win them too. Every artist doesn’t have to face this challenge. I have to. There may be thousands of reasons to leave but there is one reason to stay,” he is heard saying in the clip posted on Sunday.

Munawar was arrested along with five other comedians in Indore on January 2, on a complaint by Eklvaya Singh Gaur, the son of BJP MLA.

All six were accused of making “filthy and indecent jokes” about Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as Home Minister Amit Shah. Granting him bail, the top court had agreed that procedure was not followed during his arrest and the allegations in the FIR were vague.

In his video, Faruqui said he has never intended to “hurt anybody”.

“I have never wanted to hurt anybody… never wanted to be famous. I am a standup comic because it makes me happy. It’s a passion. How can we hurt anyone? Every artist works very hard to entertain the audience. Entertainment and artists bring people together. Yes, nobody gets into stand up comedy out of a compulsion but it takes a lot of effort to become a comic,” he is heard saying.

He further talks about trolling and “hate being spread on Internet”.

“We used Internet earlier too. About 10 years back, we used Internet to download wallpapers, ringtones, make friends…. and we felt happy. Today, we’re using it to make faceless enemies. You’re making enemies for those who don’t know you. Why are we doing it? Why have we forgotten that internet is for entertainment and information?”

“It’s like a herd mentality. For hours on end, people keep abusing each other. Will we keep fighting? Anybody can be a victim of this herd mentality and politics. I wasn’t a victim… I was only bruised, and that for something I didn’t even do,” he shared, stressing that he too faced the vitriol online. 

Munawar was denied bail thrice before. Refusing him bail on January 28, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had said the possibility of more “incriminating material” could not be ruled out as investigations were still on.