Mumbai: Film and television stars enjoy tremendous popularity and love from the audience, especially in India where they become household names in no time. This popularity also comes with a lot of responsibility – the first being extremely careful about what they are saying or writing in the public domain. The latest celebrity who clearly failed to fulfil that responsibility is actor Munmun Dutta who used the word ‘bhangi’ in a video that she shared on social media recently.Also Read - Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah Producer Says ‘Show Will Go On With a New Dayaben’ If Disha Vakani Wants To Quit
Munmun, who’s known as the Babita Ji from Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, dropped a video explaining her makeup routine before she goes live on a platform. While speaking about the products she uses, she said she makes sure she’s looking all perfect in a video and not ‘looking like a bhangi‘. The word is considered a casteist slur and using it in any language means adding to caste discrimination – something that the country has been dealing with and fighting against for ages. The word is used to differentiate the ‘upper caste’ people from the ‘lower caste’ ones who are mostly assigned sanitation jobs and were traditionally considered untouchables. The abolition of casteism in India is still a long journey. While Article 15 shines in our constitution and prohibits all kinds of discrimination, it is still not a reality in many parts of the country where caste-based discrimination is deeply embedded in the minds of many people and communities. Also Read - Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah's Natukaka Breaks Silence on His Return To The Show
After Munmun was criticised for her video, she released a long note apologising for the same. She mentioned that ‘because of language barrier’ she was unaware of the usage of the word. “Because of my language barrier, I was genuinely misinformed about the meaning of the word. Once I was made aware of its meaning I immediately took the part down. I have the utmost respect for every single person from every caste, creed, or gender and acknowledge their immense contribution to our society or nation,” she wrote in her official statement addressing the controversy. Also Read - Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah: Disha Vakani Aka Dayaben Spotted on The Sets, Is She Returning To The Show?
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However, seems like her apology didn’t do anything for those who were visibly left upset with her ignorance of the usage of the casteist slur. Many users highlighted how encouraging casteism intentionally or unintentionally is punishable under law and the police shall take action. Check out these tweets:
What do you think of the entire issue? Do you think that the actors have a greater responsibility of being aware and careful about how they are representing themselves and what are they speaking or writing on social media platforms?