Not long ago, actress Munmun Dutta, who is best known for her role of Babita in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, had found herself in hot waters when she used a casteist slur in her latest YouTube video. In the video, Munmun was talking about make-up when she referred to a particular community. The comment created widespread furore and a hashtag demanding her arrest had started trending on Twitter. Munmun then deleted the said video and apologised saying she was 'genuinely misinformed about the meaning of the B word.'
"This is in reference to a video that I posted yesterday where in one word used by me has been misinterpreted. 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. Once I was made aware of its meaning, I immediately took the part down. I have utmost respect for every single person from every caste, creed or gender and acknowledge their immense contribution to our society or nation. I sincerely would like to apologise to every single person who have been an unintentionally hurt by the usage of the word and I sincerely regret for the same," read Munmun's apology issued on Twitter.
Recently, Yuvika Chaudhary landed in trouble with the netizens for the use of same casteist slur that Mummun had used. She drew netizens’ ire for posting a video featuring her husband Prince Narula on YouTube in which she used the casteist remark. This led to the hashtag 'Arrest Yuvika Chaudhary' trending on Twitter. People brutally shamed her for her choice of B word.
Within a few hours, Yuvika posted an apology on Instagram which reads, "Hi guys, I didn't know the meaning about that word which I used in my last Vlog. I didn't mean to hurt anyone and I can never do that to hurt someone. I apologise to each and every one. I hope you understand. Love you all." She also posted a video of her apology. Prince, too, took to his Instagram stories to apologise to fans.
The similarity between these two incidents just goes to show how casteism has been deeply thriving in our society. The insults have been normalised and used casually in our every day conversations, knowingly or unknowingly. Many people across the country including celebrities like Munmun and Yuvika have no clue or are misinformed about these particular words. It's a sad state of affairs when such influential people practice these words and easily brush it off like there's no big deal.
Most of us are convinced that using the B word is probably the best way to describe our worst selves. But little do they know that how quickly it gets deemed as the normal reality of the lower class community, thus, drawing a picture of their particular appearance. In the past, the upper caste people have always seen the lower caste people as filthy, dirty, less talented, what not and that they were born to clean their waste, clear dead bodies and live lives at their mercy.
The caste-based discrimination was banned in 1948 by the law and enshrined in the Indian Constitution. But it is still being practised in various parts of our country no matter how the lower caste people have raised their standard of living. Whenever people use the B word, it just goes on to paint the lower caste as unattractive, unskilled, ill-behaved and every other word that describes filth and dirt. It becomes that ugly truth of the society that wants you to accept it as something normal. But it's not. It just makes you a part of the biggest problem that our country has been fighting for in the past several decades.
It is 2021 and it is time to stop using such casteist slurs to describe someone or any given situation. Don't be like Munmun and Yuvika. Educate yourselves about these slurs and be aware of what damage it could cause that might create unnecessary unrest in the society.
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