A much celebrated daily soap actress Munmun Dutta popular for playing ‘Babita Iyer’ on Sab TV’s show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ has landed in a controversy posterior to using an unfitting casteist term in one of her videos wherein she is seen talking about how she wants to look good for her YouTube appearance, and not look like a “Bhangi”; a casteist slur used to demean Dalits.
The video that is making rounds on the internet lately has left the netizens enraged not only because of its casteist connotations but also taking cognizance of the fact that its usage is a punishable offense as per a ruling by the Supreme Court of India. Deeply offensive for India’s marginalised communities, the video went viral across social media platforms with the hashtag ‘ArrestMunmunDutta’ reaching top Twitter trends as on May 10. Subsequently, the trend had amassed over 20,000 tweets in just a few hours on Monday alone with notable activists chiming in and demanding that the actress be booked under the SC/ST Act.
Trending Tweet against Munmun Dutta
The actress, in response, trimmed her video and has issued an apology statement on Twitter and Instagram, saying her usage of the word has been misconstrued and came about because of her “language barrier. It was never said with the intent of insult, intimidate, humiliate or hurt anyone’s feelings, because of my language barrier, I was genuinely misinformed about the meaning of the word,” she explained. “I would sincerely like to apologize to every single person who have been unintentionally hurt by the usage of the word and I sincerely regret for the same.”, she added. Read the full statement here