Don’t Give Me Money, Give Me Work: Munawar’s Friend Nalin Yadav
Organisers are hesitant to feature the 25-year-old comic in their shows as “they are scared of disputes”.
Video Producer: Maushmee Singh
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui was not the only one arrested early in January, along with him was another upcoming Indore-based comedian called Nalin Yadav.
The Quint spoke to the 25-year-old comic, who is a Mass Communication college second-year dropout, to understand how life has changed since he got bail.
Why did you not resume comedy after you came out of jail?
People know Munawar, so he is well established. Hence, he has been able to find work again. That is not the case with me. I am from a city like Indore (in Madhya Pradesh) and have not done big shows in other cities yet. Since the incident in Indore, organisers are hesitant to feature me. They are scared of disputes. People are afraid as they put lakhs into such events.
So what have you been doing ever since?
I have been working in a factory in Pithambar where I do chores like folding bags and other odd jobs. I am not a regular there. I work there for 10-12 days and then take a break to try and find a venue for my comedy again. I had loans that I had to pay back, my younger brother also started working to help pay the family’s expenses.
You were accused of hurting religious sentiments. Any comment?
Yes, that is correct. All six who were arrested in Indore on January 1 were charged with hurting religious sentiments. Although, I must say, I had not done anything like that at all. I cracked jokes on issues that had nothing to do with religion. For example, I joked about pre-marital sex.
What happened to you in jail?
Nothing particularly bad happened with me in jail, but living there is a horrible experience. However, many people in jail helped me. I made many friends in jail as well.
Will you keep doing comedy?
I will never leave comedy. My mother had Cancer for four years. Even then I did not give up on my dreams. I have had many reasons to leave comedy – like how expensive it is and how it is hard to make money – but I never stopped.
Did you ask Munawar for help?
No, I did not ask him for help. I got to be friends with Munawar in the two months since the incident. I know he is going through a lot emotionally, so I will not bring this up with him. All of us are going through pain. People are offering financial help after learning that I work as a daily wage earner. I do not want money, I only want work.
Along with Yadav and Faruqui were four youths – Prakhar Vyas, Pratik Vyas, Edwin Anthony and Sadakat Khan. On 2 January, an FIR had been registered by the Madhya Pradesh Police against all six. They were booked under sections 295-A (outraging religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings), 269 (negligent act likely to cause spread of disease), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
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