Minhaj not allowed to say ‘Howdy, Modi’
Popular Indian-origin comic Hasan Minhaj has said he was barred from attending the “Howdy, Modi” event in Houston on Sunday where he was also honoured.
About 50,000 Indian-Americans attended the event jointly addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.
The comedian claimed he was denied entry as some comments about Modi on his show The Patriot Act were “not appreciated”. Minhaj had faced heat on social media for episodes on the Lok Sabha elections and Kashmir.
On Monday, a video surfaced on social media showing Minhaj talking to a media coordinator outside the venue on phone. He was told he and his team couldn’t be permitted inside because of lack of space.
In an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Minhaj said: “I was like I have to be there. So we submit our press credentials, immediately get an email back through saying, ‘We’re out of space’. I was like…. You’re out of space in a football stadium? Nah.
“So I recheck with the organisers…. I’m like ‘I’m sorry for making fun of cricket…. They are like ‘No, some of the comments you made about Prime Minister Modi were not appreciated and you’ve been blacklisted’,” Minhaj told Meyers.
The comic said he watched the event on his phone in the parking lot and saw many
Indian-Americans being honoured. It was ironic to see his own photograph pop up on the screen as one of the achievers, Minhaj said. “They were honouring me for my comedy while also blackmailing and blackballing me and kicking me out for my comedy. It is the most Indian thing ever. They were like ‘we’re proud of you but we’ll never say it to your face’,” he said.
The stand-up comic also threw in a cheeky Kashmir joke. He said police officers on rally duty while breaking up people from beating each other said, ‘“Why are you guys arguing over sweaters? Everyone can have cashmere’. They were like ‘That’s the problem, everyone can’t have Kashmir’,” Minhaj said.