Condom-makers, puncture fixers, Uber: Why are parody Twitter handles banning an Indian comedian?

Freedom to fly.
Freedom to fly.
Image: youtube video grab
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A standup comic, an Indian government minister, and the country’s top airlines walk into a bar. Jokes fly.

Ok, not a bar, but that’s par for the course on Twitter after Kunal Kamra, a comedian and vociferous critic of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, was suspended from flying on most Indian airlines over the past two days. The ban, initiated by IndiGo, came after Kamra posted a video of him confronting television news anchor Arnab Goswami onboard a Mumbai-Lucknow IndiGo flight on Jan. 28.

While IndiGo’s punitive action against Kamra was expected, bans by SpiceJet, GoAir, and national carrier Air India have been viewed as excessive. The civil aviation ministry stepping in to condemn Kamra’s “heckling” of Goswami, who heads the in-your-face, pro-government Republic TV news channel, did nothing to allay concerns of the government’s partisanship.

Satirists quipped that long-dead airlines like Kingfisher would also like a chance at brief revival simply to be able to ban Kamra.

Parody accounts of sundry services on Twitter went on a rampage, almost entirely replicating IndiGo’s first tweet announcing the ban on Kamra.

Here are some of the parody Twitter handles mocking the original.

Kamra, then, was also “suspended” from accessing services like getting a puncture fixed.

The standup comic, who wondered if he was allowed to walk, was next banned from that activity.

Other “associations,” mimicking trade bodies of various industries, chimed in, too.

Could toilets and condom-makers be far behind?

Finally, even Mother India had to toe the line.