Image copyright AFP Image caption Women who perform Laughter Yoga have been targeted by online trolls
An Indian stand-up comedian has riled feminists after making a series of online jokes about women’s sexual abuse.
Mohan Singh, a top comedian on Facebook, said rapists should be allowed to attend Hindu “holy places” to repent.
Some Indians have called for his return to comedy, with critics calling the tweets about women “tasteless”.
But Mr Singh’s critics say he should not be spared from criticism.
The Indian stand-up show Mumabi TV has started a petition, calling for Mr Singh to be banned from television.
The petition argues that the tweets do not reflect “healthy humour” but rather are a reflection of a “sick society where misogyny and discrimination remain at the centre”.
Mr Singh retweeted various comments on Twitter, following up on suggestions that the rape of 18-year-old gang-rape victim Jyoti Singh was “for entertainment”.
Jyoti Singh was a student from India’s northern state of Punjab. Her body was found beside the Ram Navami, a Hindu festival, with slits on her stomach and two tyres tied around her neck. She had also been tortured.
Laughter Yoga is an ancient yoga practice which allows women to release stress and improve their health.
Mr Singh is a popular local stand-up comedian, a regular on TV shows and a regular on the big screen.
In one of his “jokes” he tweeted “why should rapists be banned from going to Magriteshwar [Hindu sacred places] when they can go to ‘kama’ [restaurant] and eat it that way?”.
His wife has also weighed in on the controversy, dismissing critics who called her husband a misogynist.
“I have all these kids that are coming to see my husband and people are going crazy. He is going to do a particular story and how can a man do that? I know it is his pen and his words, but they are not so good,” she told Hindustan Times.
“He is doing this because it is comedy and some people have been joking that BJP [All India Hindu Council, a right-wing Hindu political party] is wrong.
“I’m joking on it and I am a strong woman and I will handle it. This is what happens when something is out of control.”