Lyricist of Akshay Kumar starrer Samrat Prithviraj and #MeToo accused Varun Grover got a lesson in free speech and expression after he downplayed life threats to BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Netizens pointed out his double standards putting how he once said freedom of speech should also include freedom to insult.
On Sunday, Grover expressed solidarity with self-proclaimed fact-checker and AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who dog whistled an online mob of Islamists by sharing a post of Nupur Sharma making some statements about prophet Muhammad. This resulted in a spate of rape and murder threats on her and her family. Social media users were also outraged that, instead of siding with the woman who is receiving rape and death threats, Varun Grover stood with the man who triggered it all.
Grover watered down Zubair’s leading an online Islamist mob and claimed that all he did was ‘call out hate-speech’ and even called Sharma’s comments on Prophet Muhammad ‘legally problematic’.
I stand with @zoo_bear. He simply called out hate-speech by sharing an actual, unedited clip of a certain hate-monger given on a certain hate-filled TV channel.— वरुण 🇮🇳 (@varungrover) May 29, 2022
The TV channel has even removed the clip from its youtube (understanding that the speech is legally problematic).
Replying to the tweet above, a pointed out how Grover had earlier stood by ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqui for having insulted Hindu gods and goddesses under the garb of ‘comedy’.
Munnwar should have all the freedom of disrespecting hindu gods, but Nupur can’t states what has written in religious books.🤡 https://t.co/2nimkyuKxc— Lala 🇮🇳 (@FabulasGuy) May 29, 2022
Faruqui, in one of his stand-up performance, used lyrics of a popular Bollywood score to mock Lord Rama over his 14 years of exile, and portrayed Sita as an insecure wife suspicious of her husband Lord Rama’s loyalty towards her. Subsequently, people had called for boycott of his ‘comedy’ shows which hurt Hindu sentiments.
However, for Grover, what is good for the goose is not really good for the gander. Faruqui had the right to offend Hindu sentiments and get away with it, but Sharma cites Islamic religious text and gets called ‘hate speech’.
Author Aabhas Maldahiyar pointed out how Sharma was just quoting Islamic text. “Quran 17.1: Prophet on Flying Horse/ Donkey Bukhari 5134: Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Ask “Chidiyaghar ka Bhalu” to fact check it. Bukhari & Quran writer= hate-monger?” he added.
That’s quoting Islamic text.— Aabhas Maldahiyar 🇮🇳 (@Aabhas24) May 29, 2022
Quran 17.1: Prophet on Flying Horse/ Donkey
Bukhari 5134: Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old.
Ask”Chidiyaghar ka Bhalu”to fact check it.
Bukhari & Quran writer= hate-monger?
Quoting Varun’s tweet, Twitter user and podcaster Kushal Mehra wrote, “Is citing religious sources hate speech? Then is religion itself hate speech?”
I believe hate speech is part of free speech. But these hate speech haters need to resolve this internal problem. Because if they want hate speech banned they have to multiple religious verses. I am sitting in the corner and enjoying this.— कुशल मेहरा (@kushal_mehra) May 29, 2022
Ina subsequent tweet, he wrote, “I believe hate speech is part of free speech. But these hate speech haters need to resolve this internal problem. Because if they want hate speech banned they have to multiple religious verses…”
Another popular Twitter user tweeted how people like Grover show their true colours by siding with offenders just because the victim is from a different political ideology.
these are ur vanilla free speech warriors showing their true colors by siding with big0t who has dog-whistled his followers to issue mass [email protected]/k!lling/[email protected] threats to a lady.. thereby throwing FOE/ feminism/ liberalism/ anti-hate/ anti-religion etc activism out of the window https://t.co/OMfp7HaIyB— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) May 29, 2022
Another social media user also pointed out how Grover was justifying the threats received by Sharma by calling he remarks ‘hate-speech’.
This misogynist-communal bigot varungrover is justifying [email protected]/[email protected]/[email protected] to a lady by defending the big0t who had dogwhistled his followers to go after her..— Mr Sinha (@MrSinha_) May 29, 2022
This man is lyricist of @akshaykumar & @yrf starrer movie #SamratPrithvirajChauhan https://t.co/dEjhYWg9Ts pic.twitter.com/PEFrBtLEDs
Notably, Varun Grover was earlier accused of sexually abusing a woman. During the #metoo movement in 2018, an anonymous lady stated to be his college junior at BHU accused Grover of sexually harassing her under the guise of auditioning for a play. However, he had denied those allegations.