Comedian turned politician Kumar Vishwas received an angry reception from several activists in Surrey, BC on Friday evening.
The group of protesters included Sikh and leftist activists, besides supporters of Aam Aadmi Party. Though Vishwas also belongs to the AAP, a section of the local AAP support group is upset with his “right wing ” politics. The protesters were offended by his caricaturing of the Sikhs and Muslims. The Sikh activists were particularly annoyed with his “12 o’ clock joke”, while others were angry over his recent comment ridiculing women. They were equally angry with some of his controversial political statements in which he justified state repression in India. Only recently, he landed himself in trouble by describing women as “objects”. Earlier, India Mahila Association leader Raminder Dosanjh criticized him for those remarks though she was not at the demonstration.
They showed up with placards and raised slogans against Vishwas outside Bell Centre where the comedian was going to perform. The organizers called the police who made the protesters move little far from the main entrance of the venue.
A Sikh activist Gurdeep Singh Kandola said that Vishwas was speaking the language of the RSS by targeting the community and other minority groups.
AAP supporters Gurmukh Deol and Tarlochan Singh said that by remaining indifferent to ongoing attacks on religious minorities in India under BJP government and justifying state repression he is clearly mimicking the RSS.
Gurpreet Singh of Radical Desi group said that they were there on behalf of women who have been repeatedly humiliated by Vishwas.
Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal who came to watch the performance of Vishwas listened to the protesters and promised them to raise these concerns with the organizers on their behalf.
Later in the evening, at a separate event organized by the supporters of Vishwas- a Sikh activist Dharam Singh was arrested by the police when he insisted on meeting Vishwas personally to get an apology for making fun of the Sikhs.