NEW DELHI – Comedian Kunal Kamra’s scheduled show in Haryana’s Gurugram was called off following threat by the Hidntuva organisation Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Following the cancellation of his show, the 33-year-old comedian issued a reply to the Hindutva group. Kamra issued his response to the VHP under a letterhead titled — So-called comedian Kunal Kamra.
Kamra was slated to perform for his gig on September 17 and 18 at Studio Xo Bar, however, it was ordered to be cancelled after the VHP filed a complaint with Gurugram’s district commissioner.
The VHP strongly objected to Kamra’s gigs, accusing him of mocking Hindu gods and goddesses. Following this, the authorities cancelled his show, titled Kunal Kamra Live, to prevent any tension and clashes that may arise.
In his letter, the standup comedian asked the group to present a video or a clip wherein he had insulted Hinduism or Hindu gods and goddesses. He underlined, in the letter addressed to the VHP, that he did not deem it necessary to give a test of his relationship with God or his take on religion.
Maintaining his stance that he had never ridiculed religion and merely took jibes at the government, Kamra wrote that he would refrain from using Vishwa (universe) in the VHP as the group does not represent the Hindu community absolutely or exhaustively.
“You have done this (added Vishwa to VHP) yourself,” Kamra’s letter stated.
The comedian alleged that the Hindutva organisation threatened the owner of Studio Xo Bar in Gurugram, although it was not the venue owner’s fault.
“How do I blame that poor man (owner of Bar) as he has to run his business. He would not quarrel with goons,” Kamra said. In a veiled jibe, he said that even if the owner of the Bar filed a complaint with the police, the police would reach out to the VHP seeking permission for Kamra’s show.
“More or less, the whole system is yours now,” Kamra addressed the VHP.
Furthermore, he asked the body to table a shred of evidence or video clip wherein Kamra ridiculed or derided Hindu deities or the religion itself.
“If there is a clip or a show, then show it to me too,” the standup comedian said while admitting that his jokes merely targeted the government.
The VHP would take offence at his jokes about the government only if they’re its ‘pet’, Kamra implied. He further asked the group to take a test while he took one.
Kunal Kamra said that he was willing to shout — ‘Jai Shri Sita Ram’ and ‘Jai Radha Krishna’, but in return, he asked the VHP to denounce Nathuram Godse if he was a real nationalist or an off-spring of India. Nathuram Godse was the assassin of the Father of the Nation.
“If you fail to do so (condemn Godse), I will conclude that you are a terrorist organisation,” Kamra said.
“Do you perceive Godse as your God,” Kamra asked the VHP. He further said that if the VHP did hold reverence for Mahatama Gandhi’s assassin, then they were free to cancel ‘all of his shows’ in the future. Kamra concluded that he aced the test for being a Hindu and he even scored more than the VHP, his letter implied.
He concluded the letter to the VHP by vouching for hard work and said that he would not live off being a stooge of the government.
“By virtue of being a ‘bigger’ Hindu, I feel that making a livelihood by threatening others is wrong,” wrote Kamra.
Taking to Twitter, Kamra wrote, “My answer” and tagged the VHP’s official Twitter handle to his post.