Mumbai: Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma fame actress Munmun Dutta on Monday landed in a row after she used a casteist slur in a video she uploaded recently.
In a video posted on her YouTube channel on Sunday, titled ‘Visiting Both My Sets / A Day Out / Munmun Dutta 🦋❤️’, Dutta said: “I am coming on youtube and I want to look good don’t want to look like a bhangi.”
The part of the video where she used the slur is now trimmed from the original.
Munmun Dutta, however, took to Twitter and apologized for her improper usage of the word.
“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,” she wrote, adding that she sincerely apologizes to every single person who has been unintentionally hurt by the usage of the word.
‘Bhangi’, often used in a derogatory manner, is a term that could refer to a member of the Bhangi caste, who have been historically oppressed and traditionally restricted to cleaning latrines, manual scavenging, and sweeping.
Also known as ‘Chuhra’ or ‘Balmiki’, they have found themselves on the margins throughout, even being banned entry into religious places for prayer.
Anti-caste activists, in several instances, said that caste-based vocal discrimination is so deeply embedded in the Indian parlance that people, especially those belonging to the upper caste, keep using such words and phrases casually on an everyday basis without considering the historical and sociological baggage these words carry.
Similar casteist slurs include Chamar (the derogatory usage of the word which is now a punishable offense under SC/ST atrocities Act), Chandaal, Mahar, Kajar, Kameena/Kameeni, etc.