Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui, who walked out of an Indore jail last week, posted the first video on his YouTube channel on Sunday after spending nearly a month in prison. He was arrested for allegedly making "filthy and indecent jokes" about Hindu Gods and Goddesses, as well as Home Minister Amit Shah.
In the 10-minute clip, titled "Munawar Faruqui Leaving Comedy", the 29-year-old stand-up comic apologised to his fans for a misleading title, and explained why he won't shy away from his "passion".
"I want to apologise to my fans. There is a typo in the title... Munawar Faruqui is not leaving comedy... Munawar Faruqui is living comedy. I can't quit... it (comedy) keeps me alive. Those who hate.. we will win them too. Every artist doesn't have to face this challenge. I have to. There may be thousands of reasons to leave but there is one reason to stay," he is heard saying in the clip posted on Sunday.
Mr Faruqui's YouTube channel has over 616 thousand subscribers.
Munawar Faruqui was arrested along with five other comedians in Indore on January 2, on a complaint by Eklvaya Singh Gaur, the son of BJP MLA.
All six were accused of making "filthy and indecent jokes" about Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as Home Minister Amit Shah. Granting Mr Faruqui bail, the top court had agreed that procedure was not followed during his arrest and the allegations in the FIR were vague.
In his video, Mr Faruqui said he has never intended to "hurt anybody".
"I have never wanted to hurt anybody... never wanted to be famous. I am a standup comic because it makes me happy. It's a passion. How can we hurt anyone? Every artist works very hard to entertain the audience. Entertainment and artists bring people together. Yes, nobody gets into stand up comedy out of a compulsion but it takes a lot of effort to become a comic," he is heard saying.
He further talks about trolling and "hate being spread on Internet".
"We used Internet earlier too. About 10 years back, we used Internet to download wallpapers, ringtones, make friends.... and we felt happy. Today, we're using it to make faceless enemies. You're making enemies for those who don't know you. Why are we doing it? Why have we forgotten that internet is for entertainment and information?"
"It's like a herd mentality. For hours on end, people keep abusing each other. Will we keep fighting? Anybody can be a victim of this herd mentality and politics. I wasn't a victim... I was only bruised, and that for something I didn't even do," he shared, stressing that he too faced the vitriol online.
People come on Internet "with a lot of misinformation", he said. "Don't abuse each other... nobody wins an online argument. You have to decide if you want to follow the trolls or ignore them. Abuse is not content," he further shares.
Munawar Faruqui was denied bail thrice before. Refusing him bail on January 28, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had said the possibility of more "incriminating material" could not be ruled out as investigations were still on.