Standup comedian Kunal Kamra denied heckling Republic TV owner Arnab Goswami, saying that he was just asking him questions. He made a mockery of IndiGo and Air India banning him from travelling on their flights.
Kunal Kamra tweeted a video featuring him accosting journalist Arnab Goswami aboard an IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Lucknow on Tuesday. This sparked a big debate on social media with the left-wing backing him saying, Arnab got a taste of his medicine. But the standup comedian faced a backlash from the fans of Arnab and right-wing, who condemned his behaviour in public place like a flight.
IndiGo suspends Kunal Kamra from flying
IndiGo got into swift action and suspended Kunal Kamra from flying for six months. Air India barred the stand-up comedian from flying until further notice. Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri condemned his behaviour and advised other airlines to impose restrictions on him.
Kunal Kamra issues statement
After seeing the debate, Kunal Kamra issued a statement, which reads, "Today I met Arnab Goswami in a flight to Lucknow (6E 5317), and politely asked him to have a conversation. At first, he pretended to be on a phone call. I waited for his so-called phone call to get over. Seatbelt signs were off at this time. I gave him a monologue about what I felt about his "journalism". He refused to answer any questions, he called me 'mentally unstable'."
"The stewardess asked me to take my seat as the seatbelt signs had just come on. Post Take off, when the seatbelt signs were off again, I approached him again and asked him if I could have his attention. He said he is watching something, and he doesn't want to talk. So then I did exactly what Republic TV journalists do to people in their private/public spaces, and I don't regret it. I am not sorry for it."
"The moment the stewardess asked me to move, I went back to my seat in 20 seconds. I apologised to each crew member personally and to both the pilots, by staying back till the end, for any inconvenience that I might have caused during the flight. I don't think I did anything wrong/criminal. Don't let this be about my bravado. Let us all take a moment and fondly remember a smiling Rohith Vemula I do apologise to every passenger except one."
Responding to his critics, Kunal Kamra tweeted, "To all you 'Nationalists', A member of the Anti-national club approached Arnab for a dialogue, he could educate me better on national interests & how I should keep nation first... instead of that he chose to watch some shitty movie & not engage. Arnab your mask is off..."
IndiGo tweeted, "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. Hereby, we wish to advise our passengers to refrain from indulging in personal slander whilst onboard, as this can potentially compromise the safety of fellow passengers."
Kunal Kamra retweeted this post and thanked Indigo in a sarcastic way. The standup comedian wrote, "Thank you Indigo a six month suspension is honestly very kind of you... Modiji might be suspending Air India forever."
Air India tweets
Air India tweeted, "#FlyAI: In view of the incident onboard @IndiGo6E, Air India wishes to inform that conduct of Person concerned is unacceptable.With a view to discourage such behavior onboard flts, Mr Kunal Kamra is suspended from flying on any Air India flt until further notice. @HardeepSPuri."
Kunal Kamra retweeted Air India post and wrote, "I had 4kgs excess luggage once, your card machine wasn't working & I didn't have cash... He said "Jane do sir" I said "Nahi, aapki airline debt main hai, Main paise de ke jaunga." I waited till he could figure how to take my money. Acha Sila diya tune mere pyaar ka..."
Kunal Kamra made a mockery of the ban, saying that he has also been banned travelling in Indian railways and road transportation. He tweeted his own funny meme and wrote, "IRCTC ka website Nahi Khul raha... Kare to Kare kya bole toh bole kya Maine suna hai road transportation pe bhi baan hai mera "