Sony TV has reportedlty sacked the Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu from its popular comedy show The Kapil Sharma Show with immediate effect for his comments on the Pulwama terror attack.
Quoting a source, The Indian Express reported, “His remarks have not been taken kindly by most. Also, the channel and the show was getting dragged into the unwanted controversy. This is when the team amicably decided that Navjot make a distance from the show. The team has already shot a couple of episodes with Archana.”
A source in Sony TV, however, said that when they shot a couple of episodes with Archana, the Pulwama terror attack had not taken place. However, the source added, in view of the raging controversy over Sidhu’s comments, the channel has reportedly decided to have Archana as a parmanent replacement for Sidhu.
On Saturday, social media users, particularly those belonging to the Hindutva brigade launched a sustained campaign against the cricketer-turned-politician by trending hashtags #BoycottSonyTV and #BoycottSidhu to express their outrage on his comments.
Reacting to the deadliest attack on Indian armed forces in Pulwama on Thursday, Sidhu had said that it was not proper to blame Pakistan as a whole for ‘a handful of people.’ “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?” Sidhu was quoted by news agency PTI. He had gone on to add, “It (the attack) is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly. Violence is always condemnable and those who did it must be punished.”
Sidhu has been at the centre of several controversies since he visited Pakistan last year to attend the oath taking ceremony of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, also a former cricketer against whom he’s played several international cricket matches. Speaking to media, his boss and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had revealed that he never wanted Sidhu to travel to Pakistan, but he ignored his request.
A complainant in Bihar had filed a case of sedition against Sidhu for hugging the Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan.
The last time Sidhu was advised to leave The Kapil Sharma Show was in 2017 when he became a minister in the Punjab government as many critics of the outspoken cricketer-turned-politician accused of conflict of interest.
The last time Sony TV had removed a celebrity from its programme midway through the season was last year, when it sacked music composer Anu Malik due to MeToo allegations.