A week after being discharged from prison, comedian Munawar Faruqi has said that he never intended to hurt anybody's sentiments through his jokes. He said that "herd mentality of fighting on the internet" as well as "someone's politics" can destroy one's personal life.
The 32-year-old stand-up comedian was arrested on January 1 in Indore for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a show on new year's eve. He was booked under IPC 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), reported The Times of India.
After spending over a month in jail, he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on February 5 and was released on February 6.
Faruqi, in his latest YouTube video, has expressed his grief over the incident. "How can I hurt someone's feelings? How can I cause heart pain? I apologise four times even if I bump into someone by mistake. It can never be my intention to hurt someone's feelings through my jokes," Faruqi said in the video
He also said the internet debates are of no-good and are used to spread hatred and abuses.
"Why have we forgotten that the internet is for entertainment and information? Shall we only keep on fighting on the internet? Anyone can fall prey to this herd mentality, politics. I did not fall prey to it," Faruqi said, adding that he was bruised for a crime he did not commit.
"Some people are spreading hatred online. But why are we making them celebrities? You have to decide whether you want to spread love or hatred on the internet? I can't give up comedy, I am alive because of it. I will win the hearts of the people who hate me. For this, I have to work harder. Every artist does not get this challenge. I have got it and will win their hearts," he added.
Munawar Faruqi and four of his friends were arrested on January 1 on the basis of a complaint by Eklavya Singh Gaur, the son of BJP MLA Malini Singh Gaur and convenor of local outfit Hindu Rakshak. In the complaint, the Gaur alleged that Munawar Faruqui made "objectionable remarks about Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah" during a show in Indore on New Year's Day.
However, no evidence was provided to establish the claim. Gaur in his complaint had said that he overheard the jokes during rehearsals of the show. Later, it was confirmed that he was arrested based on anticipation and presumption that he was going to crack the alleged jokes.