In a tweet posted on November 14, LVC Comedy Club in Goa canceled Munawar Faruqui’s show schedule this week. The decision to cancel the already sold-out show came after the meeting with local police. The police claimed that more than 500 people threatened to set themselves on fire if the show continued.
A statement by LVC Comedy Club, the organisers of the show, on their Instagram handle.
Says Hindu vigilantes threatened mass immolation if #MunawarFaruqui shows were allowed. pic.twitter.com/p2L48QClxC
— Kunal Purohit (@kunalpurohit) November 14, 2021
India and other Asian countries have had cases of self-immolation in the past. In 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Tibetan monk, set himself on fire to protest the persecution by the South Vietnamese. In 2016, another monk set himself on fire to protest Chinese Rule.
This year, a man and a woman succumbed to their injuries after setting themselves on fire outside India’s Supreme Court. The two asked the Supreme Court to transfer the rape charges filed by the woman after the local court issued a warrant against her.
Most cases of self-immolation are extremely desperate acts of protest and are rarely done in a group. Although, an Indian custom called Jauhar calls for mass self-immolation, primarily by women, to avoid capture or rape by invaders. Men also performed Jauhar when faced with inevitable defeat during a war.
The 28-year old stand-up comedian and rapper, Faruqui is scheduled to perform at a mall in Goa. After the organizers met with the Panaji police, the show was canceled due to “anticipated law and order problems.”
Extreme right-wing Hindu groups have openly targeted Faruqui over his stand-up performance. Earlier this month, the extremist right-wing Hindutva group Bajrang Dal threatened to burn down the venue if Faruqui continued his performance in Mumbai.”
Three different shows were also canceled because of the threat. Faruqui said there’s a lot of wrong things happening in India. “This is a sad reality with which many people in this country are living,” he said.
“I get 50 threat calls daily; I had to change my SIM card thrice. When my number gets leaked, people call up and abuse me,” Faruqui said.
In January this year, Faruqui and four other artists were arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and making indecent remarks against Hindu deities. After multiple appeals, Faruqui was allowed to bail out of custody while his case was being heard.
Panaji police informed the LVC Comedy Club that the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti members were a right-wing Hindu group.
Taking the situation lightly, LVC Comedy Bar assures patrons that they will refund the tickets bought. “Tc, stay safe and non-flammable, cheer,” the tweet said.