Munawar Faruqui case: Co-accused comedian takes to working as labourer to make ends meet
Bringing smiles to the faces of people was his passion and watching hundreds of people gather to attend his programme was among his reasons to live. An incident turned his life upside down and forced 25-year-old Nalin Yadav to quit his passion as a stand-up comedian and work as a labourer.
Yadav is co-accused in a case of famous stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. He was arrested along with five others including Faruqui and he spent 57 days in Indore jail. The arrest took place on January 1, Faruqui, the comedian from Gujarat, was arrested by police along with four others on the complaint filed by Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of BJP MP, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by making indecent remarks against Hindu deities during his comic show in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
These 57 days changed his life to an extent that a comedy star of the city is now working as a labourer in an industrial area in Pithampur of Dhar district to earn ₹200 per day.
“In my childhood, friends and neighbours used to say that I have a very good sense of humour and I have the talent to make people laugh. I took these words very seriously and decided to become a comedian. I didn’t feel bad when I used to receive appreciation of one or two people on my jokes but now after doing hard work, today I am left with nothing but to do petty jobs to make ends meet,” said Yadav who has been doing comedy show for the past 5-6 years in Indore.
Yadav said, “I lost my father a few years ago and mother four months ago but my friends, relatives and neighbours showered immense love on me and my 17-year-old brother Akash. We never felt alone.”
“Even when I was in jail, I didn’t feel felt bad and depressed because of the support of people and four friends - Prakhar Vyas, Edwin, Sadaqat Pathan - and a minor, who used to support me in organizing the comedy shows,” said Yadav.
Yadav thought when he would come out of jail, people would sympathise with him and support him, instead, many broke all ties with him and his brother.
“In the past 25 days, hardly anyone called me to know my condition. Neighbours saw me as if I am a dreaded criminal or some obscene person. A few friends, who really helped my brother with collecting money for my bail, don’t want to support me anymore,” he added.
“After coming out of jail, I contacted some café owners in Indore where I used to perform as a comedian and earn money but nobody is even ready to talk to me. They requested me not to call them because they don’t want anyone to know that they are associated with me in any manner. Now, I have lost hopes. Three days a week, I spend convincing people that I didn’t do anything wrong and four days I work as a labourer at an industry. My younger brother is also doing a private job to restart life,” said Yadav.
People asked me to upload the video on the whole incident but I don’t want to take advantage of a situation that only took things away from me, he added.
Recalling January 1, when Yadav was arrested with five others, he said, “My whole hard work went in vain because a few people got confused and lodged a ‘fake’ ‘complaint without any proof. On that day, I gave an opening performance of five minutes for Faruqui and when he came upon the stage, people created ruckus and attacked us. Many people ran away from the venue but we five chose to stand by Faruqui to keep the tradition of comedy show alive in the city and to save the honour of the city.”
“When we were taken to the police station, we thought that we were the victims but late in the night, we came to know that we were the accused and will be sent to jail,” he added.
He said, “I don’t know whether I will continue in this city or not. But I am afraid of losing my confidence, facing people and having doubt on my words that spread smiles on the faces of people for five years”.
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