From locking horns with VHP to heckling Arnab Goswami, comedian Kunal Kamra's 'not-so-funny' moments

Kunal Kamra hit the headlines again with his open letter to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), daring the Hindutva organisation to denounce Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. Here are other instances when the stand-up comic landed in trouble in the past few years

FP Explainers September 12, 2022 14:46:46 IST
From locking horns with VHP to heckling Arnab Goswami, comedian Kunal Kamra's 'not-so-funny' moments

Comedian Kunal Kamra, a vocal critic of the BJP-led central government, has often landed in trouble in the past few years. Firstpost

“I believe there need be no defence for jokes. Jokes are based on a comedian’s perception, which they use to make the audience that shares that perception laugh” said comedian Kunal Kamra in his affidavit responding to the Supreme Court’s contempt notice in 2021.

The stand-up comic has hit the headlines again with his open letter to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), daring the Hindutva organisation to denounce Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

The development comes after his show was cancelled in a Gurugram bar in the wake of opposition from the VHP and Bajrang Dal.

Kamra, known for his fierce criticism of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, has raised questions on VHP’s Hinduism and challenged the Hindu right-wing group to prove where he had slandered the religion.

Why did VHP oppose Kamra’s show in Gurugram?  What other controversies has Kamra been embroiled in?

Let’s take a closer look:

Hindu Right-wing outfits oppose Kunal Kamra

On Friday, Hindu right-wing outfits VHP and Bajrang Dal demanded Kamra’s show in Gurugram be cancelled, claiming his act was “likely to create tension” in the city.

The stand-up comic was due to perform on 17 and 18 September at Studio Xo bar in Gurugram’s Sector 29.

In a memorandum to the deputy commissioner of Gurugram, the right-wing outfits had said, “Comedian Kunal Kamra makes fun of Hindu gods and goddesses in his show, which is quite wrong. In such a situation, due to the show being held in the city, tension can arise, we request it be cancelled at the earliest or we will protest.”

Threatening to launch protests if Kamra’s show was not dropped, Ajit Yadav, district president of the VHP, was quoted as saying by PTI, “There have been many cases registered against Kunal Kamra in the past. If the show is not cancelled, we will protest.”

As a result, the bar management acceded to the demand and announced they were cancelling Kamra’s show to avoid trouble.

Kamra’s response

Tagging VHP on Twitter, Kamra captioned his post as ‘mera jawab’ (my answer). In the letter written in Hindi, the comic says he is “a bigger Hindu” than the VHP as he does not earn his living by inducing fear and issuing threats.

From locking horns with VHP to heckling Arnab Goswami comedian Kunal Kamras notsofunny moments

In his letter to VHP, Kunal Kamra has dared the Hindu right-wing body to produce any evidence of him insulting the “Hindu culture”. News18

Addressing the VHP as just “Hindu Parisad”, he says he does not believe that the Hindus around the world have appointed the organisation as “thekedar” (custodian) of their faith.

Kamra says that he does not finds it necessary to prove his relationship with god.

“But I will still give a test and take your test as well. I can say, “Jai Shri Sita-Ram” and “Jai Radha Krishna”, loudly and proudly. If you really are the children of India, write and send (messages of) ‘Godse Murdabad’. If you don’t, you will be perceived as anti-Hindu and supporters of terrorism.”

“Don’t tell me you consider Godse as God? If that is true, keep getting my shows cancelled in the future too. I’ll just be happy to have emerged a bigger Hindu than you in this test. Whatever I’ll do, I’ll eat my hard-earned bread as I’m a bigger Hindu than you. I feel it is a sin to live on scraps by threatening someone and spreading fear,” PTI quoted Kamra as saying.

Kamra also dared the Hindu right-wing body to produce any evidence of him insulting the “Hindu culture” saying he “only takes dig at the government”.

Run-in with Arnab Goswami

Kamra had left the internet divided after sharing a video of him heckling Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami on board a Mumbai-Lucknow Indigo flight in 2020.

While some pilloried Kamra, others backed him.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who had filed a defamation suit against Goswami and Republic TV in 2017 for remarks made by the channel regarding the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, had said Kamra gave Goswami a “taste of his own medicine”.

Then civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had called Kamra’s behaviour “offensive” and “designed to provoke and create disturbance inside an aircraft”.

Indigo and other airlines including SpiceJet had banned Kamra for varying time periods following the incident.

Child’s ‘morphed’ video

Kamra had landed in soup for sharing an edited video of a seven-year-old boy singing for Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Germany on 2 May this year.

In the clip shared by the comedian, the song ‘Hey Janmabhoomi Bharat‘, crooned by the boy, was replaced with the 2010 movie Peepli Live’s famous number ‘Mehengayi daayan khaaye jaat hai‘.

The father’s boy Ganesh Pol had hit out at Kamra and asked him to keep his child away from the comic’s “filthy politics”.

“He is my seven-year-old son, who wanted to sing this song for his beloved Motherland. Though he is still very young but certainly he loves his country more than you Mr Kamra or Kachra watever u are. Keep the poor boy out of your filthy politics & try to work on your poor jokes,” Pol had tweeted.

The stand-up comic had responded to Pol, arguing he was not mocking the child.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had taken cognisance of the incident and sought Twitter and the Delhi Police to take down the tweet.

In the wake of the fallout, Kunal Kamra had deleted his tweet.

Growing culture of intolerance

In May, a plea was filed before the Supreme Court against Kamra for his remark that the apex court is a ‘Brahmin-Baniya’ affair in his show ‘Be Like’.

The petition was filed as an intervention application in an already pending contempt of court against Kamra, reported Bar and Bench.

From locking horns with VHP to heckling Arnab Goswami comedian Kunal Kamras notsofunny moments

A plea has been filed against Kunal Kamra for his remarks on the Supreme Court. PTI

Earlier in 2021, Attorney-General KK Venugopal had given nod to initiate contempt proceedings against Kamra for allegedly disparaging the judiciary and judges through his social media posts.

In his response to the contempt case, Kamra had said he believes there is a “growing culture of intolerance in the country, where taking offence is seen as a fundamental right which has been elevated to the status of a much loved national sport”.

“To believe any institution of power in a democracy is beyond criticism is like saying migrants need to find their way back home during an ill-planned, nationwide lockdown…the suggestion that my tweets could shake the foundation of the most powerful court in the world is an over-estimation of my abilities,” Hindustan Times quoted Kamra’s affidavit as saying.

With inputs from agencies

Read all the Latest NewsTrending NewsCricket NewsBollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Updated Date: