The anti-national debate has been doing the rounds in the country for a few years now. It erupts time and again in the form of lynching, violent protests, murders and in passive forms of intellectual and entertainment curbing.

After the conflict at Ramjas College in DU, another incident on similar lines has taken place in Baroda’s MS University.

Comedian Kunal Kamra has reportedly been banned from performing at the university as his content is considered to be ‘anti-national’.

Here is what happened:

THE INCIDENT

Kamra was to perform at MSU in Baroda on 11th of August 2018. However, his performance remains canceled on account of a petition filed by 11 ex-students of the university who claimed that his content is ‘anti-national’.

kunal kamra anti national

The event was to take place in the CC Mehta auditorium of the university. Rakesh Modi, the coordinator of the auditorium reportedly told The Indian Express “We informed Kamra verbally on Saturday about his show being cancelled. We were told that his content was anti-national and controversial, so we went ahead and cancelled the show.”

THE STORY INSIDE MSU

There was a mail which was apparently written to Parimal Vyas, the vice chancellor of the university, thereby coaxing them into cancelling the show. This mail was procured by The Indian Express and reads something like this:

“I am not even writing the name of the comedian as he doesn’t even deserve the popularity by our mention in this mail. He has mimicked our national anthem, openly supported the ‘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.”

Also Read: FlippED: Should We Take Offensive Comedy Seriously? 

KAMRA’S REACTION

On learning about the incident, Kamra tweeted “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.”

kunal kamra anti national

Other instances of attacks on comedians have also taken place in the recent past. Tanmay Bhatt was targeted for satirising Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar, Kiku Sharada was sent to jail for imitating Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

WHAT IS KUNAL KAMRA’S CONTENT?

Kunal Kamra’s comedy content, much like that of the other trending stand up comedians deals with his own experiences, the daily life of an Indian individual, politics, religion etc.

But aren’t satire and criticism a part and parcel of what truly makes a free country? Isn’t the whole point of comedy the fact that it’s got some truth to it or is relatable?

Something is only funny when there is an underlying truth and reality to it. Comedians only point that out in a way that isn’t meant to be offensive but is most often than not, taken as offense.

Circling back to the debate, what is anti-national is still ambiguous today. Unfortunately today, everything being done, spoken about and discussed in the country is highly volatile and the lines between criticism and offense have been blurred.

kunal kamra anti national


Sources: The Quint, The Times Of India, The Indian Express

Image Source: Google Images


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