Friday, May 26, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomeIndiaKTR extends Hyderabad invite to Munawar Faruqui & Kunal Kamra, says 'we...

KTR extends Hyderabad invite to Munawar Faruqui & Kunal Kamra, says ‘we don’t cancel shows’

State IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao says Hyderabad welcoming of ‘all cultures and criticism’ while Bengaluru, where Faruqui’s last show was cancelled, ‘takes comedy too seriously’.

Text Size:

Hyderabad: Stand-up comedians Munawar Faruqui and Kunal Kamra are welcome to perform in Hyderabad where their shows “will not be cancelled”, Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao (KTR) has said.  

Speaking at an event in the city Friday, KTR, who is also the chief minister’s son, extended an “open invitation” to the stand-up comedians to perform in Hyderabad as “it is welcoming of all cultures and criticism”.

He also took a dig at “cosmopolitan” Bengaluru in neighbouring Karnataka where Faruqui’s show was cancelled last month — Bengaluru Police had asked the organisers to call off the show citing “law and order” issues, and called Faruqui a “controversial figure”.

Faruqui had earlier this year spent a month in Indore jail on charges of allegedly “insulting Hindu deities” during a show, but he claims he never even got a chance to perform at the event in question. Ever since, he has been constantly targeted by Hindutva groups, with his shows in Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai, Raipur and Bengaluru being called off under threats of vandalism.

KTR said Bengaluru “claims to be a cosmopolitan city, but takes comedy too seriously”. 

“Hyderabad today is welcoming people from all over the country and all over the world. We truly are a cosmopolitan city. In our city, stand-up comedians get an open invite. We do not cancel shows of Munawar Faruqui and Kunal Kamra just because we’re not aligned with them politically,” said KTR, addressing an event in the Telangana capital.

“We truly are welcoming. I am saying this to those people from Bengaluru, you claim to be a cosmopolitan city and end up taking comedy very seriously. I don’t understand that at all.”

“Therefore, we truly are a cosmopolitan city, welcoming all cultures and criticism. You can come here and criticise the government. In fact, we receive a lot of brickbats from our Opposition everyday but are very tolerant,” he added.

Days after Faruqui’s shows were cancelled in Bengaluru, Kamra took to social media to say that his shows in the city were being cancelled after the organisers received threats. The “ruling class is at least trying to oppress with equality”, he had said.

After 12 of his shows were cancelled across India, Faruqui had last month hinted that he may quit comedy.  

Earlier this month, he was also dropped from the Gurgaon Comedy Festival on grounds of “public safety”. 

Also Read: Pani puri, comedy & intolerance — Two days with Munawar Faruqui, the comedian denied a stage

‘Hyderabad better for investment too’

KTR was speaking at an event organised by a Massachusetts-based financial services company, Mass Mutual.

Pitching Hyderabad as a better place of investment than Bengaluru, KTR said the former has “better infrastructure, lower costs and better traffic”.

“There is no other city that can compare to Hyderabad in terms of what it has to offer in the value proposition sense,” he added.

KTR, who is also working president of ruling regional party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, had filed a defamation and injunction suit in September against state Congress chief Revanth Reddy after the latter had called him a “brand ambassador for drug addicts”.

Reddy had also called Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, KTR’s father, an “ambassador of drunkards”.

The minister, in response to the comments, had warned that sedition cases will be lodged against those who make derogatory comments against the CM.

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)

Also Read: Aryan Khan, Munawar Faruqui or Pinjra Tod — why bail doesn’t mean immediate release


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular