American comedian of Indian origin Hasan Minhaj was allegedly denied entry into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Texas on Sunday.
The outspoken host of ‘Patriot Act’ on Netflix was allegedly turned away as event personnel cited lack of press credentials and space for his camera crew as reasons.
Minhaj had posted an image of himself posing in front of the NRG Stadium in Houston with the caption: “Here to celebrate two great nations coming together. India first. But America first too.”
The 34-year-old, who got his start as a correspondent on ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’, has made a name for himself as a political satirist and social activist. Minhaj was raised Muslim.
In June 2019, he created a huge stir when he hosted an episode of ‘Patriot Act’ titled Indian Elections Update, which upset several Modi supporters.
In August, he also spoke up about the Kashmir issue, tweeting: “As India celebrates its independence, let’s think about the people who don’t seem to have any right now.”
Some have cited Minhaj’s exclusion from ‘Howdy, Modi’ as an example of “Islamophobia”, while Pakistani-Canadian reporter Maria Kari claimed to have been blocked from attending the event, too.
“Looks like I’m not the only Muslim journalist who was blocked from attending the #HowdyModi event today,” Kari tweeted.
“I’m based in Houston where the #HowdyModi event is taking place right now. Instead of covering it live from the inside (like I did with Imran Khan’s rally in DC), I’m having to watch the event online because my Dawn News press pass was denied for some [expletive], fake reason,” she wrote.
‘Howdy, Modi’ was a rally that saw PM Modi meet with American president Donald Trump and address the Indian-American community. There was a reported 50,000 people in attendance.