Are Bengaluru authorities promoting the ‘cancel culture’ of the right wing?

Comedian Kunal Kamra was forced to cancel his upcoming shows in the city; has alleged “threats'' and the audience numbers being restricted

Kunal kamra

Residents of Bengaluru, the tech-first Capital of Karnataka, must be a confused lot. They are now regularly waking up to news of comedy shows being cancelled in their beloved city, as well as news of bigots threatening minorities elsewhere in the state.

In the face of any perceived threat the authorities do what they feel will ‘fix’ the problem. Instead of increasing security (once called beefing-up, but the term may no longer be kosher) they ‘suggest’ comedy shows are cancelled and ‘advise’ minorities not to hold prayers. Remember, this is Bengaluru, a city of multiple religions, cultures and with an international presence thanks to its IT professionals.

The latest subject of their ‘cancel culture’ is comedian Kunal Kamra, who had to cancel his upcoming shows in Bengaluru. He has alleged “threats” and said the audience numbers are being  restricted. Kamra who has been under the regime’s scanner, and a subject of trilling, announced the cancellation of his shows at Artkhoj, J.P. Nagar, which were scheduled to be held on December 1, 4, 13 and 17. He took to social media and said, “Hello Bangalore people. I’m happy to inform you that my shows in Bangalore which were scheduled over the next 20 days have been cancelled. 

Kamra offered a ‘tutorial’ on how to get shows cancelled:

“Step no 1 — Inform police that there could be violence.

“Step no 2 — Inform venue owner there could be violence.

“Step no 3 — Inform artist that if he/she/they will be coming there will surely be violence.

“Step no 4 — Remind the venue of what could happen if the artist manages to do a show despite the threats.

“Step no 5 — Be ready with celebration memes that show your victory and togetherness in missing the point.”



The “reason” cited was that they did not “get special permission to seat 45 people in the venue” that can seat more. Also, that “threats have been made to shut down the venue if I were to perform there. I guess this is also part of the Covid protocol & new guidelines. I suppose I am seen as a variant of the virus now.” While he did not detail what the “threats” were or who issued them, according to The Telegraph, “Police source said that some people, including residents of the neighbourhood, had protested outside the venue on Tuesday evening against Kamra’s scheduled shows.” However, no complaints were registered.

This cancelation, comes just days after Munawar Faruqui’s charity show for the late actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s foundation was cancelled on Sunday November 28. It was Faruqui’s 12th show that was axed.

According to TT, while an official from the health department of Bangalore’s civic body, the implementing agency for Covid guidelines, declined to comment on Kamra’s allegation about seating restrictions he said “up to 500 people were now allowed at public events but new restrictions were likely to be announced in a day or two.”

“For those on Twitter that have been wondering how ‘A Kamra goes on to perform while a Farooqui had to quit comedy’ we can find solace in the fact that the ruling class is at least trying to oppress with equality,” Kamra posted, adding, “Maybe if we continue down the road of equal oppression, we would get to a point of equal liberation, in a post climate change era.”



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