Abhigyan Jha, director and creator of an online comic TV show, Jay Hind, was forced to issue a formal apology after the show’s comedians and producers received death threats for a sketch that was uploaded in December last year.
The video shows actor-host Sumeet Raghavan talking to comedian Rajeev Nigam, dressed as British runner Fauja Singh. Members of the Sikh community took offence and reacted with threatening phone calls.
“Rajeev’s phone did not stop ringing for 72 hours. Most of the death threats and calls came from abroad,” said Jha. “We contacted the police and they helped us with security.”
A Facebook message posted by a group called Sikh Riot Awareness UK on July 29 circulated a message reading, “The Indian media is now making fun of our beloved Fauja Singh and making insensitive jokes... These guys cannot accept a Sikh portrayed in a positive light.”
“Our intention was not to poke fun at the Sikh community at all,” said Jha. The apology was read out by Raghavan in a video, in which he says, "It is a failure that we couldn't make that sketch foolproof enough to avoid such anger. It was posted on YouTube on August 1.