Anushka Sharma receives legal notice by Gorkha Youth Association for 'racial and sexist' Paatal Lok dialogue

A compliant has been filed against Anushka Sharma’s production Paatal Lok with the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) for an alleged racial and sexist slur.

FP Staff May 25, 2020 10:16:45 IST
Anushka Sharma receives legal notice by Gorkha Youth Association for 'racial and sexist' Paatal Lok dialogue

A compliant has been filed against Anushka Sharma’s production Paatal Lok with the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) for an alleged racial and sexist slur.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association filed its complaint online with the NHRC on 18 May over alleged "sexist slur" made against the community in the web series.

According to NDTV, the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh (BhaGoYuP), the youth wing of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, had also started an online campaign seeking that a particular scene is muted and the corresponding sub-title is uploaded again with a disclaimer.

Anushka Sharma receives legal notice by Gorkha Youth Association for racial and sexist Paatal Lok dialogue

Jaideep Ahlawat in a still from Paatal Lok

In the scene, the alleged Nepali slur has been used against a woman character whose name suggests she belongs to the Khasi community of Meghalaya, said the online petition started by Namrata Sharma, who is the social welfare secretary of the BhaGoYuP, writes The Week.

"Such stereotyping not only maligns the community as a whole but normalises such racism as a standard practice for the people. It sets a distorted image among people regarding a certain community, the brunt of which, the people living there have to face," NDTV quotes Nanda Kirati Dewan, president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh said.

Earlier this week, Viren Sri Gurung, a member of the Lawyers Guild sent a legal notice to Sharma for the remarks. Gurung had said in his legal notice that the word is insulting towards the Nepali community. “There is a clip wherein during an interrogation a lady police officer uses a casteist slur on a Nepali character. There wouldn’t have been any problem had only ‘Nepali’ been used. But the word that follows it is unacceptable. Since Anushka Sharma is one of the producers of the show, we have served her a notice”, Gurung said.

He added that he is yet to receive a response from her, and that he will take the matter up with Amazon next.

Sikkim Lok Sabha MP Indra Hang Subba has now written a letter to I&B Minister Prakash Javedakar addressing the same issue and demanded that action be taken against the show, reports News18.

"This is regarding sexist slur hurled against the Nepali speaking community in the second episode of the original series Paatal Lok which is being streamed in Amazon Prime Video. Nepali is one of the 22 languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution with 10.5 million people speaking the language as mother tongue. Hence the derogatory and offensive label made in the particular scene of the series has not only hurt the sentiments of the community but has also set an example of racist stereotyping of the people from the community especially at this time where the people from the northeast region have already endured racial assaults owing to the COVID-19 pandemic," states the letter.

He further says that has extended his support to the online petition started by Sharma asking Amazon to mute the alleged slur in Paatal Lok.

Headlined by Jaideep Ahlawat, the series is produced by Anushka’s Clean Slate Films and also stars Abhishek Bannerjee, Gul Panag and Swastika Mukherjee.

(Also read on Firstpost - Paatal Lok: How Sudip Sharma created the Amazon Prime series no one can stop talking about)

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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