A massive controversy broke out after a snippet of a video of a stand-up ‘comedian’ Agrima Joshua insulting the memorial to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian sea went viral on social media platforms. A wave of outrage and anger erupted across the state against the comedian for insulting a historical personality who is widely hailed for his unparalleled contribution towards the Indian cultural renaissance.
While the video is from last year, it soon went viral after the ‘comedian’ Agrima Joshua shared a one-minute clip from the gig on April 5. The video received angry responses from several quarters for making offensive remarks against the Shiv Smarak, a memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, which was announced by Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra.
Dear @CMOMaharashtra stand up Comedian @Agrimonious cracked jokes and made fun of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
She has hurt feelings of crores of Maharaj devotees across the globe
Please take strictest action against her
CC @AnilDeshmukhNCP @CPMumbaiPolice @MumbaiPolice pic.twitter.com/Qg2CdX1x7U
— Ramesh Solanki (@Rajput_Ramesh) July 9, 2020
MNS workers vandalise the studio
An affront to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did not sit well with the Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) party whose workers reached the studio where the stand-up video was shot and created a ruckus for allowing their facility to be used by individuals who had mocked Shiv Smarak–a memorial to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea.
— Liberal Slayerr (@liberal_slayerr) July 10, 2020
MNS activist Yash Ranade shared a video on his Facebook account in which MNS workers can be seen vandalising the studio for permitting the concerned stand-up ‘comedian’ to jeer at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a towering symbol of ‘Marathi Pride’.
In the video, Yash is seen asking the authorities at the studio to seek a written apology from the ‘comedian’ even as the other MNS workers are seen kicking and damaging the tables and chairs at the venue. Subsequently, the organisers tendered a verbal and a written apology to the MNS workers for allowing the comedians to air disparaging views on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Shiv Sena MLA writes to Home Minister demanding action against the comedian
The contemptuous remarks against Maharashtra’s tallest icon–Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj provoked an angry response from Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik as well, who wrote a letter to the state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh demanding strict against the comedian.
“A comedian named Agrima Joshua has made scornful remarks against Shivaji Maharaj in her comedy stand-up gig. I saw the video and I feel she doesn’t have respect for Shivaji Maharaj or she doesn’t know about him. I have also written to the Home Minister demanding her arrest,” Sarnaik said in a video uploaded on his official Twitter account.
छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराजांचा अवमान करणाऱ्या मुजोर कॉमेडियन अग्रीमा जोशुआला ताबडतोब अटक करण्यासंदर्भात मी गृहमंत्री मा. श्री. @AnilDeshmukhNCP यांना पत्र लिहिले आहे. आपण या विषयांची अत्यंत गंभीर दखल घेऊन असल्या विकृत कॉमेडियन ला अटक करून कडक कायदेशीर कारवाई करावी अशी माझी मागणी आहे. pic.twitter.com/AGuzgYpmtR
— Pratap Sarnaik (@PratapSarnaik) July 10, 2020
He also added that if the said comedian was using the name of Shivaji Maharaj for earning fame and money, the Maharashtra Yuvati Sena/Mahila Aghadi will not tolerate such perverse behaviour. “If you want, you can take information about Maharaj from his devotees. Such needless mocking of Maharaj will not be tolerated by adherents of Hindutva,” Sarnaik said.
The comedian apologises for her crass remarks against Shivaji Maharaj
After her video insulting Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj went viral on the Internet, sparking outrage over the crass comments she passed against the Maratha icon, many people on the social media asked the comedian to pull down the videos and provide an unconditional apology to those who have been grievously hurt by the insulting remarks against Shivaji Maharaj.
As the groundswell of outrage snowballed, involving political parties such as Shiv Sena and MNS, who raised their grievance with the comedian’s patently disrespectful remarks, Agrima Joshua grudgingly apologised for hurting the sentiments of the followers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and tweeted that her video has already been taken down from the Internet.
I am sorry for having hurt the sentiments of the many followers of the great leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. My heartfelt apologies to followers of the great leader, who I sincerely respect. The video has already been taken down. Please amplify.
— Agrima Joshua 🇮🇳 (@Agrimonious) July 10, 2020
“I am sorry for having hurt the sentiments of the many followers of the great leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. My heartfelt apologies to followers of the great leader, who I sincerely respect. The video has already been taken down. Please amplify,” Joshua tweeted.
Agrima Joshua’s contemptuous remarks against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
On April 5, 2020, Agrima Joshua had shared a snippet from her last year’s stand-up gig where she had made deprecatory statements against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
In a one minute video, Agrima Joshua said, “I wanted to know more about the statue of Shivaji being erected in the Arabian Sea, so I went to the most trusted site on the internet and that is Quora. I found a well-sized essay written by someone there. The Shivaji statue is a masterstroke by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the people of Maharashtra, he wrote. Another one, realising that the post lacked creativity, added that the statue would have a GPS tracker and a laser light in his eyes to kill the Pakistani terrorists coming from the Arabian Sea. Then I found a third person who commented that it is not Shivaji but Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I followed him.”