Four airlines ban comedian Kunal Kamra after video of him 'heckling' Arnab Goswami goes viral

Updated: Jan 29, 2020, 15:13 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

In a video clip which went viral on social media, the stand-up comedian is seen asking the journalist if he is a "coward or a journalist".

Kunal Kamra
Kunal Kamra

Indigo and Air India banned stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra from flying with them for six months after he allegedly heckled TV journalist Arnab Goswami onboard an Indigo flight from Mumbai to Lucknow.

Air carrier SpiceJet, too, on Wednesday, decided to suspend stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra from flying with the airline till further notice.

Indigo's tweet said, "In light of the recent incident on board 6E 5317 from Mumbai to Lucknow, we wish to inform that we are suspending Mr Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for a period of six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable behaviour."

Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took notice of the incident and "advised" other airlines in India to impose similar restrictions on Kamra, stating "offensive behaviour designed to provoke & create disturbance inside an aircraft is absolutely unacceptable & endangers the safety of air travellers".

Following the minister's remarks, Vistara said it will "review and follow due process in such cases".

In a video clip which went viral on social media, the stand-up comedian is seen asking the journalist if he is a "coward or a journalist". The journalist is seen sitting in the plane and watching something on his laptop with his earphones plugged in, Kamra is heard telling him: "Viewers want to know if you are a coward or a nationalist. This is for the national interest. I am part of the tukde-tukde narrative. You should deflate me. You should take the enemy of the states down. You should make sure that the country is in safe hands of Narendra Modi. You should fight against dynasts like Rahul Gandhi, who I support, on 10 Tughlaq Lane. You should have a reply. Are you a coward or are you a journalist? Are you a coward or are you a journalist or a nationalist? Who are you, Arnab? Who are you?"

"You know, you do not deserve my politeness. This is not for you. This is for Rohith Vemula's mother whose caste you were discussing on I know this is not allowed. This is fine. It's fine if it is not allowed. I'd go to jail for this. But this is for Rohit's mother. And go...find time and read that 10-page suicide letter that Rohit wrote so that you have some emotion or some heart or you just become human. Do that. Do you in your free time. You nationalist," he adds.

However, in the statement given by Kunal Kamra, he says that he 'politely asked' the journalist to have a conversation with him. He also said, "I don't regret it, I am not sorry for it."

(with inputs from agencies)

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