It happened after the vice-chancellor got a written request to cancel the show Image: YouTube
In the Indian comedy scene, if there's one stand-up comedian who gets flak on a daily basis for his content, it is Kunal Kamra. Trolls have adorned him with really colourful monikers, some of which cannot be named here. But they have, by the power vested in them by we don't know who, declared him anti-national. Because of his jokes and, of course, for showing support to people who are labelled fellow anti-nationals. We don't even want to go there.
So far, it was just keyboard-ninjas spewing venom on him. But now his gig at Vadodara's Maharaja Saiyajirao (MS) University got cancelled because the alumni feel his content is "anti-national" and will "pollute the minds of Barodian youth ahead of 2019". *ahem*
Kamra was supposed to perform at the CC Mehta Auditorium on the MS University premises on August 11. But the vice-chancellor of the university got a letter from 11 alumni students that requested the authorities "to cancel the permission of organising an anti-national comedian show in university premises".
The Indian Express got hold of the copy of the letter, which read, "What message do we want to convey by organising such antinational flagbearer youth comedians’ comedy show in Gujarat’s most prestigious university campus?"
"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 letter stated.
And they cancelled his show. Rakesh Modi, who is the coordinator of the auditorium, told The Indian Express, "We informed Kamra verbally on Saturday night about the cancellation of his show. We were informed about his content being anti-national and controversial, so we went ahead with this decision. Since it is Sunday, we will make an official announcement tomorrow."
But Kamra's tweet has a different version to tell. With a screenshot of the news and a drink in his hand, he tweeted on Sunday night, "Ever been so cool that you find out from the news that you're not going to be working on a particular day? Celebrating my day off in the future on my day off today...”
Soon, the Internet got divided into camps. Some in support of Kamra and some against him.
Politician Shashi Tharoor wrote an op-ed on it, too.
Meanwhile, Kamra has gone back to cracking jokes, because that's what comedians do. Just in case people forget, they are just jokes and there's still freedom of speech and expression in our country.