Thursday, 27 January, 2022
HomeOpinionMunawar Faruqui no hardened criminal. Denying him bail is to keep Muslims...

Munawar Faruqui no hardened criminal. Denying him bail is to keep Muslims in line

Apart from Munawar, four others were held from Indore. But no one is bothered about them, because only a man with a Muslim name can be worth the outrage.

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Munawar Faruqui should not have cracked a joke on Hindu deities, if he did. It is objectionable. What was he thinking? That too in a ‘rashtra’ that’s going from secular to Hindu.

But in a nation where every second person’s second word in a conversation is choicest abusing in the name of mother or sister, isn’t it bizarre that we don’t take offence to our daily vulgarities? Instead, we choose to have over-the-top reactions when we watch movies, TV shows, stand-up acts, songs and paintings that we may not agree with, and find offensive.

What’s happening in Munnawar Faruqui’s case is a clear witch-hunt, except the idea here is to unnerve a specific community and not just the individual.


Also read: ‘Wanted to catch serial offender Munawar in action’ — how comedian’s arrest was ‘planned’ in MP


No bail for being Munawar

It is no one’s problem that he was arrested for allegedly making objectionable jokes. Law must take its course. The issue here is his continued arrest as though he is a hardened criminal. This, in a country where people facing grave charges of rape and murder also get bail. Think Chinmayanand and Manu Sharma. But Munawar has been kept in jail for 25 days now. For what? Playing on the lyrics of ‘Mera Piya Ghar Aaya O Ramji’?

But of course, a Muslim columnist (who had objected to the caricature of Prophet Mohammed by Charlie Hebdo) defending the likes of Faruqui would come across as hypocritical. However, it must be reminded that Muslims never condoned those killings in the name of cartoons, but strictly criticised the caricatures of the Prophet. You may argue, Munnawar did crack jokes last year and did offend sensibilities and ‘asked for it’. But bail is his basic legal right, and the case against him is not a non-bailable offence. If he isn’t following the law (of causing religious hurt), then neither are you, by defending his 25-day custody. It’s like giving out a message, setting him as an example — don’t mess with ‘Hindu sentiments’, rather don’t mess with Hindutva.

Examples are made out of the likes of Munawar Faruqui to keep the fires of Hindutva fuelled.

Denying bail to Munavar Faruqi is meant to have a chilling effect across the entertainment industry. Just like the furore against Tandav will be. First, there was political capture (every party is practising soft Hindutva today; you can’t imagine any neta calling the Ramayana a mythological fiction as T.R. Baalu did during the Ram Setu days). Then, there was a capture of the media. Then the big Bollywood industry was silenced by going after those who spoke about the Narendra Modi government or intolerance. Now, it is OTT platforms, comedians. The effort is to ensure nobody speaks against Hindutva or the government on any public platform.

The idea that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is checking Muslims and keeping them in line panders to the very insecurities created within the majority community — of being attacked and taken advantage of by the minority. Munawar Faruqui is just another peg in the propaganda machinery of ‘Hindu Khatre mein hain’. Ali Abbas Zafar, director of web series Tandav has also been summoned by the cops for hurting Hindu sentiments. The pattern is fixed — Hindu sentiments are hurt by Muslims. Add to this, the ‘love jihad’ trope and you have an entire circus of ‘minority out there to bully and dominate majority’.


Also read: From Dongri to MP jail — comic Munawar Faruqui’s life is rife with humour, hustle & tragedy


Making an example out of him

If anything, Munawar Faruqui has tried to overcome his tough circumstances. A boy who comes from a difficult household where his mother died by suicide, Faruqui went out there to establish a stand-up career for himself, paying money at open-mics to get a slot to perform. In fact, Munawar is the poster boy of a modern young Muslim man who is unconventional (seeking a career in stand-up comedy), aspirational and sees himself beyond his religious identity. And yes, in the process of making a career for himself and get noticed, he ended up making a mistake, allegedly. But to vilify him and make an example out of him, especially because he is a Muslim, just to satiate the Hindutva palate, is inhuman.

Four others — Prakhar Vyas, Nalin Yadav, Pratik Vyas and Edwin Anthony — were also arrested in this episode. But no one is bothered about them — because only a man with a Muslim name can be worth the outrage.

The author is a political observer and writer. Views are personal.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Hi
    Munnawar has been in prison for what ? He is a standup comedian and a country 150 million people cannot take a joke ? What a shame , what is modi turning india to a zoo of hypocrites? All those who have responded against munawwar are rss goons . They despise human intelligence and are happy to toe Hindu /Muslims line in every thing . Their brains are loaded with cow dung and blood mixed with cow piss . I hope the sensible majority in india wake up and kick modi and his cronies out to see india develop and remain secular.

  2. Bail is the basic right tht each and everyone should get , even rapists get bail in this country but just on absuing,, this happens only in india , awesome article very well written tht ppl abuse each other in day to day life by giving bad words on mother,father all the bs, he is not having any hate for any god, tht we can clearly see..

  3. One of the worst of worst article,how much money the auther got from group of people to wrote this kind of bullshit

  4. Beautiful analysis by Zainab. Since most of the people in this country abuse in the name of mother and sister in alternative sentences, Munawwar Farooqi must be allowed to abuse Hindu Gods.

  5. Articles like these are precisely the reason why I don’t subscribe to Print. If it was the opposite case-any random guy mocking Islam, that would have been criticised as ‘blatant Islamophobia ‘.

  6. worst article on this issue
    why you people r always in search of making citizens devide on religious lines. the matter is in court and here you are playing muslim identity trash.
    A big shame on you
    how can you even think of writing such article.
    atleast keep faith in judicial procedures or you will end up making THE PRINT a passimistic, unworthy of reading, self proclaimed news grp.
    i am not a admirer of BJP ideology but what you did here is also not worth admiring.

  7. worst article on this issue !!
    why you people r always in search of making citizens devide on religious lines. the matter is in court and here you are playing muslim identity trash.
    A big shame on you !!
    how can you even think of writing such article.
    atleast keep faith in judicial procedures or you will end up making THE PRINT a passimistic, unworthy of reading, self proclaimed news grp.
    i am not a admirer of BJP ideology but what you did here is also not worth admiring.

  8. Very single sided article as expected from either Liberal or Muslim writers. The moment any authority from non Muslim state arrest any Muslim then the victim card is on the table.

    I don’t say that make joke os Islam or Christianity and leave Hinduism. In fact why anyone wants to joke around any religion. Muslims must understand that they want people of other religion to respect and understand their religion but they didn’t want to extend the same courtesy to other religions and even in sociologicaly or anthropologicaly or philosophicaly, they don’t want to understand other religions especially Hinduism.

    Look at the trash content of author and her mindset. She is not completely saying that what this so called comedian has done is wrong but she is saying that in present context and due to the government in power, it is wrong.

    We will keep on electing this party to save our dignity and save ourself from ridicule and insult to our intelligence by nonsensical victim card and its associated hypocrisy. I have seen couple of articles by her and didn’t read them as by experience know which direction it will go. This is how “Kufr” is repaid. Infact thinking of your own religion all the time is plain selfish.

    I actually stepped in to support the print through subscription but if I am to get this flawed (hindu ridiculing/bashing), non neutral journalism then I guess I will wait to see how the publication are going in which direction to get back to support

  9. We need to applaud the fact that Mr. Faruqui is still hale and hearty and is likely to live another day to crack more jokes on Hindus.
    The courts will eventually release him. Even if he has to suffer a jail term, he will be out of prison in a few months.

    However, do remember that there is a widely help belief that anyone who makes similar fun of Islam is likely to be killed, beheaded, have their body chopped etc. The belief is so strong that even people like Faruqui refuse to make fun of Islam.

  10. Hundreds of millions muslims wake up everyday and thrive in India. Can a Hindu become President in Pakistan? Can a Hindu rise to the top of films/tv in any other land? Can a Hindu in Pak/Bangla ever dream to be captain of their cricket team, or more recently, be celebrated for taking a 5fer on debut against the Aussies? These are all sons of India and embraced irrespective of their religion.

    This regurgitation of Hinduphobia is unacceptable for a platform like Print. This convenient Hindu bashing is UNACCEPTABLE Ms Sikander.

    Faruqui has not been be-headed – he will be fine. He will learn what every standup comic here in North America knows very well. The risqué jokes that fly in NYC & LA dare not be repeated in the Deep South/Bible Belt. Similarly, Faruqui may get away in NCR or Mumbai where “JOKING” about burning a railway coach full of innocent humans is a joke. Not in MP or the heartland.

    Time for you to recognize that it is this Hindutva that TOLERATES, and has for centuries, vitriol that you spill in broad daylight. Try this in the land of The Prophet (PBUH), where you will be hiding behind a hijab & not allowed to even drive a vehicle. Do not lecture Indians or Hindus on tolerance.

    ENOUGH!!!!!!!

  11. “Muslims never condoned the killings in the name of cartoons” – biggest joke of the year. Keep them coming, Ms. Sikander.

  12. It’s good. Munnawar Farooqi should be in jail. It doesn’t matter, from which background he belong.
    Enough is enough. Keeping Muslims in line is necessary. They need a dose, permanent wala dose, so next time no Muslim will ever try to defame Hinduism in the name of So called secularism and freedom of speech.

  13. Sheer hypocrisy. You guys get offended when someone draws some caricature somewhere in the world, you take out protests in India when that incident took place in France but you take issue when Hindus are no longer tolerating insults ?Are you kidding me?

  14. the print should be changed to The $hit. The award for the most communally biased journalism goes to the $hit. Whatever punishment the koran prescribes to “infidels” – for simply being a infidel – should be awarded to the $hit.

  15. Muslims will have to reconcile to the fact that this world is not for only muslims. There are several non-muslim communities and their sentiments must be respected by all muslims.

  16. Great article dear columnist. Have you written one on Kamlesh Tiwari?, killed by Islamic zealots because he made some objectional comment against Prophet Mohammed. Better to keep Munawar the comic behind bars, lest Newton’s third law applies and a zealot from the Hindu side does a Kamlesh on him. Do remember the modern hindu fanatic is an equal and opposite reaction to the muslim fanatic. You (since u have written the article with a pen that works on muslim ink) become tolerant so will the other side.

  17. Another Jihadi writer given platform in Shekhar Guptha print, what a Shame, these Jihadi Muslims want to kill anybody who just draw Mohammad cartoon, but will defend Muslims who makes fun of Hindu religion, Indian Muslims are masters of playing victim card and sold Hindus like Shekhar Guptha ready to provide them platform to sell their products.

  18. Kamlesh tiwari was in jail for close to 6 months under the draconian NSA and beheaded. I guess denying him bail and beheading him was to keep Hindus in line. Zainab doesn’t give two hoots about mutual respect and mutual sensitivities.

  19. Whoever wrote this article,
    Abhi tak mai soch hi raha tha, kyu kisi ne munawar ka muslim victim card play nahi kiya???
    Apne woh bhi kr diya,charlie hebdo kand bhi justify kar diya,aur mummy wala bramhastra bhi chhod diya!!
    Ab syad agle article mein jaise munnu ne godhra hatya kand ke liye rss ko zimedar banaya tha, usse bhi aap prove kr dengi
    Ab aapki galti bhi toh nahi, hum hindu log hai hi hitler!!!

    • A lame writeup trying to play the minority victim card. Extremely dumb writeup by a biased writer with zero knowledge. Hope this Munawar idiot stays in jail longer.

  20. Don’t even want to get into why he choose Hindu deities, is there not enough in his religion to make fun off.
    That argument is for normal people not for extremists like you. This victim card has long past its expiry date. Kagaz dund dhund lo ya nikal lo.

  21. It is total disgrace that there is not much outrage in India regarding arrest and denying bail to an individual comedian. It is definitely motivated by the party in power because it advances their propaganda. But, in a religious society like India there would be always less regard for individual human rights because common folk hold religion on high ground and loose their sense when it comes to religion. Devoid of quality of life, common folks would never understand the value of individual human rights.
    It is not surprising people loosing their common sense for irrational, senseless or nonsense things like religion. Even some educated persons would loose their skin if someone mocks their religion and show love for their Gods or Prophets rather than standing for Individual rights.
    It is very necessary that those who considers themselves liberal must always stand for mockery of all religions and even if they feel offended they must protect others right to mock any religion. Because only by advancing the Right of Free speech other Rights could be protected and make the society more receptive of Liberal values and Individual Human Rights. The Age of reason and Enlightenment paved the way for modern western civilization only there in the contemporary world we would not find any Munawar Faruqui in jail.

  22. once you support hardliners of one community it is just a slippery slope. If you say cartoon of prophet were wrong and the killing of cartoonist is justified, you cannot defend Munnawar and his cohorts.

  23. If I remember it rightly, this is at least the 3rd time that Begum Zainab Sikandar had identified herself more as a Muslim than as a journalist. She has every right to chose her religious identity, proving her assertion of India being a Hindu Rashtra wrong. But should she do this here in The Print or in a publication more suitable for her persuits, like say Muslim Mirror. The editorial board of The Print should think about it.

  24. “However, it must be reminded that Muslims never condoned those killings in the name of cartoons, but strictly criticised the caricatures of the Prophet”
    Let me remind you last year’s episode of Erdogan lashing out at Macron to the extent of threatening Marcon and defending those killings, imran khan even wrote an open letter.

  25. Let me guess. A slut on Prophet Muhammad is sacrilege. but other religions gods are fair play. Right ? This is the fire you started and now it has spread. Stop complaining.

  26. Jihadan dame at its best.

    This is a case of serial offender. Only when getting caught comes up with novel ifs, buts, lekin, suno to, meine to….

    Then the omnipresent secularism raag.

    Let’s ask this jihadan dame what does it mean…a quick google search definition says separation of state from religious institutions .

    I will give you just 3 examples which will prove by this definition India was not secular at all.

    1. Hindu mandirs are under state control not community centers or churches.
    2. State takes majority of mandir donations.
    3. State gives salary to imams of community centers.

    When you say secular your intent is religious equality, which is nothing but sarva dharma sambhava, the underlying principle of sanatan dharma.

    Unlike ill lal laah which means only one god which is allah and thus highly communal.

    You should be happy infact we are marching towards Hindu rashtra as it will be truly secular, in letter and spirit.

    The yellow journalism you peddle is juvenile at best but being from mawali maskin community you got a leg up and a platform. Your abysmal competence and laggard thinking is betrayed by your articles.

    Instagram and Facebook would be great platform your juvenile endeavors.

  27. Mr. Sikandar, what are you tryin to do, justify whatever Muawar did is right, in the name of artistic expression or having come from a disturbed family background or because he is a Muslim. Please, don’t play such cards. It shows how sick you are. Who gave him the right to say such things against Hindu faith or for that matter to that painter MF Hussein. If you are so much artistically inclined then kindly do the same for your own religion, why pick Hinduism. This is Hinduism, this is Hindutwa, which has been insulted. And, how you can say that hon court was at wrong for not allowing him bail. Similarly who gave that director Ali Abbas Zafar to find the fan following of Lord Ram in social media. He could have done the same with his own faith. But, no he won’t because there will be immediate repercussions. What Charlie Hebdo did was unacceptable so also what these gentlemen did also. So, don’t justify. He is facing what he deserves. And here no amount of kindness shall be showered on him because he is a performer or has a disturbed family background or making his living out of stand up comedy.

  28. Absolutely not..he is in jail not because he is a muslim, he is in jail because he is disgusting man who thinks and try to justify his malintention..such as GODHRA Kand or being insensitive towards our God and goddesses..tell me one hindu who ever did the same thing on a form of stand up comedy..so don’t justify his retardism and don’t play victim card here..he is getting what he deserves, i would have said the same thing had he been hindu..and I know how centric PRINT is

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