Anushka served legal notice for casteist slur in 'Paatal Lok'
Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma, who is currently basking in the success of her latest production Paatal Lok, has been served a legal notice over a casteist slur used in the show. The notice was sent by Viren Sri Gurung, a member of the Lawyers Guild, according to a report in The Quint. Gurung said that the word is insulting to the entire Nepali community.
The controversy pertains to the second episode of the show
The controversial dialog pertains to the second episode of Paatal Lok, a 9-episode crime thriller show which debuted on Amazon's streaming wing Prime Video on May 15. The scene in question showcases a lady police officer using a sexist slur against a character belonging to northeast India. A section of the Gorkha community has taken a strong offense at the use of the slur.
It is unacceptable, said Gurung
"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. If Anushka fails to respond to the notice, the matter will be taken forward with Prime Video and other parties attached with the series, he added.
Meanwhile, an online petition has also been initiated
Earlier, on Monday, an online petition was initiated by a community group in this regard, reports The Hindu. The petition, addressed to the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Amazon Prime Video, and Anushka, has demanded that Amazon should mute the said slur, blur the subtitles, and also upload an edited video along with an unconditional apology and a disclaimer.
The petitioner alleged such comments could trigger harassment
The Bhartiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh, which initiated the petition, asserted that the slur portrayed the community's women in poor light. The group alleged that it was also an example of the prevalent racist stereotyping of people from India's northeast region. They added that such incidents could incite harassment attempts against women of the community, which is already facing racial discrimination amid COVID-19 pandemic.
'We shouldn't promote stereotyping in the name of creativity'
"The word has been used in a filthy, regressive way... We shouldn't and cannot consume anything that is stereotyping and targeting the community in the name of creative freedom and in pursuit of entertainment excellence," said Nanda Kirati Dewan, President of the Bhartiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh. Dewan added that the group planned to move to court if a response isn't received in three days.
What is 'Paatal Lok' all about?
Paatal Lok, produced by Anushka's Clean Slate Films and written/created by Sudip Sharma, revolves around the story of a Delhi cop who is handed the case of a lifetime after four accused are nabbed for conspiring to murder a prominent prime time journalist. The series stars Jaideep Ahlawat, Gul Panag, Neeraj Kabi, Swastika Mukherjee, Abhishek Banerjee, and Jagjeet Sandhu, among others.