A day after he was arrested and forced to spend a few hours in an Indian jail for mocking a self-styled religious sect leader, popular comedian Kiku Sharda called the experience traumatic, sad and sudden.
The comedian was arrested for mimicking Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in an episode on December 27.
Amid nationwide outrage, Sharda was also sent to custody for 14 days but released after a few hours in jail, soon after the Dera chief said he forgave him. But around 10 pm, he was detained again and then released this morning.
Thankfully I didn't spend 14 days in jail, Sharda remarked, joking, however, that he did feel more secure in jail than outside because of the crowd of Baba Ram Rahim's followers in court. There was uproar when I came. It was scary.
The comedian, booked for hurting religious sentiment, said he had faced this sort of trouble for the first time in 13 years.
The Dera Sacha Sauda, a sect that has a strong presence in Punjab and Haryana, describes itself as a social welfare and spiritual organisation with millions of followers in India and abroad. It doesn't sound a very noce group though, with police
investigating claims that 400 followers were forced to undergo castrations so that they could get closer to God .