Maharaja Sayajirao University in Gujarat's Baroda cancelled a sold out show by prominent comedian Kunal Kamra, after it received a complaint from a group of alumni alleging that he has mimicked the national anthem and holds anti-national views about the government. The show was scheduled to take place on August 11, at the CC Mehta Auditorium within the campus of the University.
Former students, in their letter, also added that Kamra has supported the "tukde-tukde" gang and is trying to pollute the minds of Baroda's youth ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Tukde-tukde gang is a term innovated by some news channels for the people holding anti-government views.
“What message do we want to convey by organising such anti-national flag bearer youth comedians’ comedy show in Gujarat’s most prestigious university campus?” the letter reads.
The letter, published by The Indian Express, added, “I am not writing the name of the comedian as he doesn’t even deserve the popularity by our mention in this mail. He has mimicked on National Anthem, he has openly supported Tukde-Tukde Gang, he is opposed by all the nation-loving universities in the nation, then why are we allowing him to enter our sacred alma mater??? We seriously suspect some ideological conspiracy to pollute the minds of Barodian youth ahead of 2019.”
The cancellation has caused widespread criticism among the stand-up comedians. Anirban Dasgupta, another prominent comedian said, in a scathing Facebook post, that the comedians must unite to fight the censorship. He wrote, "If you are cheer-leading this regime because it doesn't affect you yet, you will end up with blood on your hands. Good luck.”
Talking to the NewsClick, comedian Sanjay Rajoura called the cancellation "absurd" and a direct assault on right to freedom of speech. "It is strange that some people cannot tolerate jokes nowadays. Are they so vulnerable that their minds can get affected by a mere comedy show?” He wondered.
However, this is not the first time when Kamra got in trouble for his anti-government views. In his long Facebook post in January this year, Kamra had alleged that he was asked to leave his rented home in Mumbai for his political opinions presented during his shows.