Police Probe, Criminal Charges Against Comedian For Calling Out Sexual Violence In India
In a sign of worsening intolerance for free speech, leaders of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have filed a criminal complaint against renowned comedian, Vir Das, who criticized women’s safety, religious intolerance, COVID mishandling and majoritarian politics in India during a stage performance at John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on November 14.
His monologue went viral on social media this week after he spoke of “two Indias” that contradicted each other. “I come from an India where we worship women during the day and gang rape them at night. I come from an India where we take pride in being vegetarian, and yet run over the farmers who grow our vegetables,” Das, who has had several Netflix specials, told an audience at the sold-out show.
After the video was uploaded on YouTube, it quickly went viral across social media. The polarised responses pointed – just as Das had – to a divided India , where freedom of speech is now regularly clashing with the fascist ideology of Hindutva espoused by Hindu nationalists, and the space for political comedy is shrinking.
Aditya Jha, a BJP leader, filed a police complaint against Das for “insulting the country”. The Mumbai BJP secretary, Vivekanand Gupta, also contacted Delhi police to request that a case be filed against Das for “hurting the feelings of nationalists”. The BJP chief minister of Madhya Pradesh announced a ban on Das from performing in his state.
Hindu Extremist Group Threatens To Put Idol In Mosque
Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu extremist group has threatened to install a Hindu idol at a prominent mosque in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh state .
Hindu Mahasabha leader Rajyashri Choudhary said the idol will be installed after performing Hindu rites on December 6 to “purify” the place.
The date picked by the Hindu right-wing organisation marks the demolition in 1992 of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The Mahasabha threat to perform the ritual inside the Shahi Idgah comes at a time when the local courts are hearing a series of petitions by Hindu extremists who are seeking the removal of the 17th-century mosque to build a Hindu temple.
Hindu Extremists Attack House Church in Bangalore
Hindu extremists attacked a house church in Bangalore on November 14, hitting congregants with stones and chairs despite a police cordon around the church.
According to Pastor John, leader of Mercy Divine Church in Bangalore, at around 11 a.m., a mob of 50 Hindu extremists, belonging to the Hindu Jagarana Vedike group, approached the church, threw stones and chairs at members of the minority community.
For nearly an hour, the mob remained outside the church, shouting anti-Christian slogans, and pelting the church with stones. During the ruckus, several members of the mob snuck into the church and stole the church speakers. The mob also damaged cars parked outside the church.
Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in Karnataka, the state where Bangalore is located, have dramatically increased in the recent months. Leaders in the state government have declared their intention to enact an anti-conversion law and this has encouraged anti-Christian actions by radical Hindu nationalists residing in the state.