Comedian Kunal Kamra, whose concerts later this month were canceled following threats from right-wing groups, told NDTV in an exclusive interview today that the artist brotherhood is at work. in fear – “which is never good for any art form”.
He said: “Everybody from Bollywood to comedians…everyone operates in a fear. They just let the good ideas (go)… the spontaneity that any art has. form has been completely killed off”.
Over the past months, right-wing groups have staged protests against numerous films, the latest of which is the Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt-starring Brahmastra. Right-wing groups have organized protests against an 11-year-old interview of Ranbir Kapoor, where he admitted his preference for eating beef.
Mr. Kamra’s shows at Studio Xo Bar in Gurgaon near Delhi – scheduled for September 17 and 18 – were canceled after right-wing organizations threatened to organize protests, accusing alleged that his joke was “insulting (to) the Hindu gods”.
Two weeks ago, comedian Munawar Faruqui’s performances in Delhi were canceled in a similar case after police refused permission.
Mr Kamra, who declared he was a devout Hindu and challenged right-wing leaders to say “Godse Murdabad”, questioned whether right-wing organizations would replace the judiciary, this organization can only declare if any content is “offensive”.
He said that far-right groups were “insulted” as a matter of “emotions”.
“There are clear mentions in our Constitution about how much is free speech, how much is religious bigotry and how much is incited to violence. There is a court to decide. Let them decide. see if this is against the Hindus,” he said.
“The sad part is that the authorities, the police, the Commissioner of Police, they are following the instructions of the people that Nathuram Godse wants,” he later added.
Mr Kamra, who is known for his jokes on political and social issues, asked right-wing groups to come and discuss what they found offensive about his jokes.
In an open letter over the weekend, he wrote: “If there is such a clip, please show it to me. I am only mocking the government. If you are a government henchman, your feelings are damaged. What does hurt mean. religious numbers here?”
Emphasizing it in the interview, he said, “As far as I know, I don’t say anything against Hindus and if I did say something, they should get back to the discussion instead of blaming me. That’s why I said to them – “why don’t you tell me what I said is against Hinduism and I’ll answer about it”.
On his shows, Mr. Kamra often pokes fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, as well as other political parties. As a vocal supporter of recent anti-government protests, he is also facing police cases.