Comedian Daniel Fernandes’ Hyderabad show cancelled following threats from BJP MLA Raja Singh

In a video, Raja Singh is seen threatening Daniel Fernandes in response to a joke the comedian has made about the Jain community.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 29, 2024 | 5:24 PM Updated Jun 29, 2024 | 6:00 PM

Daniel Fernedes and Raja Singh

Comedian Daniel Fernandes’ Hyderabad leg of the show “Do you Know Who I Am?”, which was supposed to happen at 4 PM on Saturday, 29 June, has been cancelled following threats from Goshamahal BJP MLA T Raja Singh.

The Jubilee Hills Police confirmed to South First that the program has been cancelled for Saturday. However, it is the organisers who will decide if the programme will be conducted at a later date.

While the police didn’t specify the reason for the cancellation, they said, following the MLA’s threats, they are cautious and alert.

BJP MLA threatened with consequences if the comedian was allowed to perform at the Heart Cup Coffee located in Jubilee Hills.

‘Nobody is ready to guarantee our safety’

Daniel Fernandes later released a video statement stating that the Hyderabad show had been “rescheduled” following the unrest caused by his last video.

“The video that has offended people has been taken down and I have posted an apology earlier. However, we are still receiving calls, messages, and emails threatening us with violence and vandalism. Nobody is ready to guarantee the safety of my audience, my crew and myself. I do not want to put anyone in harm’s way because of something I said.”

Daniel further said it was okay to disagree with an artist’s work but to threaten violence isn’t the answer.

He further apologised to the Jain community once again.

Raja Singh’s threat

In a video circulating online Raja Singh is seen threatening Daniel Fernandes with physical attack in response to a joke the comedian made about the Jain community.

Raja Singh can be heard saying, ” On Bakri Eid, a comedian named Daniel Fernandes cracked bad jokes and mocked the Jain community.”

He further threatened, “I want to remind him, you have a show in Banjara Hills today (Saturday) right? It is better you cancel the show or else our workers will come there and thrash you. You will think 50 times before coming to Telangana.”

He also goes on to address the police, saying, “We urge you to cancel his show, if not, the state we will make of his, everyone will remember, so that no one will ever joke on Jains or the Hindu religion.”

Raja Singh further recalled the tensions created in Hyderabad, when comedian Munawar Faruqi was to perform in the city in 2022. “You remember when Munawar came to perform right? I want to make it clear that, if situation goes out of hand, it is the police’s responsibility.”

Also Read: Hate songs, anti-Muslim rhetoric at Raja Singh’s Ram Navami rally

The Joke

In one of the shows, comedian Daniel Ferannades referred to the news of Jain community members, who disguised themselves as Muslims to buy goats to “save” them from sacrifice on Bakrid in Delhi.

In the now-deleted video,  Daniel is seen saying, the same Jains will call Muslims to sell the “saved” goats, when they multiply.

He further said the Jains who own meat export businesses are different from these “Jain- -Muslims”.

Following the video, which went viral on Instagram and X, Daniel has allegedly received multiple abusive messages.

In a video posted on Friday, 28 June, Daniel announced that the show which was supposed to happen at 8 PM on Saturday has been advanced to 4 PM, owing to the T20 World Cup final.

However, the said link in his bio is now not operational.

While the BookMyShow app says the tickets are sold out. South First tried reaching out to the BookMyShow, but haven’t received a response.

Comic Daniel apologises

In a post made early Saturday, Daniel has apologised for the said joke and has said that he has now deleted the video from all the platforms.

The post read: “When this video was initially posted, I got a lot of abusive and threatening messages (they’re still pouring in) directed at not just me, but also people I work with. I found that this was at odds with the peaceful nature of the Jain community that we have to come know. Anger and abuse is not a fertile ground for introspection.”

“However, offline, I have had the time to talk to my Jain friends and other members of the community who calmly explained why some of the things I said may have hurt people and I saw value in their insight. Comedy should bring people together, not drive them apart.”

Further seeking forgiveness, he wrote, “My intention with my craft has always been only to entertain, and while a lot of my fans may have enjoyed this particular video, it is also possible that people may have felt genuinely hurt. If that is the case, I have no qualms in apologising to anyone from the Jain community that felt aggrieved by my jokes. I have taken the video down on both YouTube and Instagram and you can be assured that there will be no mention of your community in any of my future work. Forgiveness is one of the many beautiful traits your community espouses so I hope that we can put this behind us and move on in peace and enlightenment.”

(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)