Hansal Mehta on Kunal Kamra’s heckling of journalist: ‘Felt it was uncool, but only option to expose establishment, its stooges’
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta has called stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra’s heckling of journalist Arnab Goswami ‘uncool’, but added that the extreme reaction of airlines banning him for six months has made him realise that it was “necessary”. Indigo and Air India restricted the comedian’s access to their airline services after the video surfaced online.
Hansal tweeted, “I used to know Arnab earlier - not exactly a friend but as someone passionate about news and debate. It is sad to see him becoming a preposterous, partisan and obnoxious servant of a dictatorial establishment. He symbolises the mostly comatose state of tv journalism in India”
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“I did not like the way @kunalkamra88 heckled Arnab on a flight. I felt it was unnecessary and uncool coming from someone who usually criticizes with such sharp wit. But seeing the even more uncool response by airlines (with govt blessings) to his behavior I have mixed feelings...Kunal Kamra’s act now seems almost like the only option to expose an establishment and its stooges. He called Arnab out in a very crude way and the response was a vulgar show of authoritarianism. Kamra’s protest still does not feel right to me but i almost feel it was necessary,” Hansal added.
Kunal allegedly heckled Arnab aboard a Mumbai-Lucknow plane of the private airline. While IndiGo suspended Kamra from flying with it for a period of six months, Air India put him on a no-fly list “until further notice”. Sharing a video from the incident, Kunal tweeted, “I did this for my hero, I did this for Rohit.” He also issued a statement responding to the entire controversy.
Kamra maintained that he did nothing wrong or criminal. He also apologised to every passenger “except one”. “Today I met Arnaba Goswami in a flight to Lucknow and politely asked him to have a conversation. At first, he pretended to be on a phone call. I waited for his so called phone call to end. Seatbelt signs were off at this time. I gave him a monologue on what I thought about his “journalism”. He refused to answer any of my questions, he called me “mentally unstable”. The stewardess asked me to take my seat as seatbelt sign had just come on. Post take off, when the seatbelt signs went off, I approached him again and asked if I could have his attention. He said he is watching something and doesn’t want tot talk. So then I did exactly what Republic TV journalists do to people in their public/private spaces. I don’t regret it. I am not sorry for it.”
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