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Why I don’t agree with Mallika Dua even if I don’t like what Akshay Kumar did.

Posted by Janhavi Ukhalkar Telpande
October 31, 2017

Earlier this year in April, Mallika Dua was a guest on the YouTube program hosted by Abish Mathew called “Son Of Abish“. She spoke about how she was a naughty kid in her childhood and her father pampered her.

Once when she wanted to stop her mother from going to a party, she wore a white kurti, poured a mixture of red and white watercolour (pink colour) on the kurti along with a butter knife and slept on the floor in front of her mother. Her mother thought she was a menace (obviously) because of her dramatic antics.

Does this look similar to what she is doing right now?

I saw the leaked episode of the laughter challenge a couple of times on YouTube. And I must say, this entire Akshay Kumar and Mallika Dua controversy could have been avoided if every second person reacting and commenting on the event had taken the effort to watch the video.

This is what actually happened on the show. After the participant completed his act of mimicking the Prime Minister, Akshay Kumar went on the stage and rung the bell which was supposedly meant to give the participant that extra bit of appreciation for his performance. But the rest of the judges wanted to ring the bell themselves. So all three of them went up the stage where Akshay was already standing.

The first one to go was Mallika followed by the other two. So when Mallika was about to ring the bell with her left hand, Akshay held her right hand and said “Mallika ji aap bell bajao, main aapko bajata hu.” Everyone on stage, including Mallika herself, laughed out loud.

When Mallika says that she felt “WTF” when Akshay Kumar said that sentence, then why did she laugh in the first place? Everyone can clearly hear her hearty laugh in the video and it doesn’t look like, she was feeling WTF and overwhelmed, abused, etc – the way she put it in her piece on The Quint.

Of course, the joke was bad. Of course it was badly timed. Of course, Akshay Kumar made a mistake. We have become so accustomed to sexual, offensive and voyeuristic comments that we don’t even realise instantly when such type of jokes are cracked. But here the question is whether this joke was really sexist as the comedian claims.

From what I saw, it was an impulsive and spontaneous comment based on the way both Akshay and Mallika were standing. As Akshay was holding Mallika’s hand, it was forming a chain and Akshay seemed to have used the word ‘bajao’ in the literal sense of ringing the bell. That’s all. He even pulled her hand, the way we do to ring the bell.

If one has to hear Mallika, she says she talked about the event only when her father put it up on Facebook. So if she had such a big problem, then she should have talked to Akshay Kumar, personally. There was no point in giving wind to the fire on the social media unless Mallika could clearly see the potential of this event getting her instant publicity.

Today, it has become very easy for smart women to get their share of instant publicity. Look at Dhinchak Pooja or Urvashi Routela. Just speak some gibberish about women empowerment, sexual abuse, sexist remarks, etc and you are sure to get the support of ‘liberals’ instantly. But there are very few who can actually call a spade a spade. And there is again a very thin line between being sexist and cracking a bad joke in general.

Akshay Kumar cracked a really bad joke I agree. But the entire auditorium laughed (including Mallika herself). And that says a lot about the collective mentality we have today. Yet, this small event is not worthy of the publicity it is getting for its sexist content. Abuse and offence are very personal matters. One can never guess what can offend a person. But when Mallika goes on bantering about how she has been made a victim of the ‘casual sexism’, she has to at least maintain a coherence of her own behaviour, actions and thoughts.

Akshay Kumar is not an idol of innocence and neither is Mallika Dua a holy cow. So people, please use your minds and react.