MUMBAI: If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are familiar with the furore sparked by a comment Akshay Kumar made to Mallika Dua on The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, after a leaked clip found its way on the internet. In the video, Akshay is heard telling Mallika, “Mallika ji, aap bell bajao, main aapko bajata hoon.”
Mallika’s father, veteran journalist Vinod Dua, lashed out at Akshay Kumar in a now-deleted Facebook post saying, “I am going to screw this cretin…” Not just him, many social media users were outraged by what they saw as a sexist, inappropriate comment. Many tagged Akshay’s wife, Twinkle Khanna, who has never shied away from calling out sexism, for a reaction.
Twinkle finally broke her silence and released a statement on Twitter. “I would like to address the controversy on the sets of The Laughter Challenge. The show has a bell which the judges ring after a contestant’s exceptional performance and when Ms Dua went to ring the bell, Mr Kumar said, ‘Mallika ji aap bell bajao main aapko bajata hun.’ A pun on the words and actions related to ringing of the bell. It’s a colloquial phrase that both men and women use – for instance, ‘I’m going to bajao him/her’ or ‘I got bajaoed’, Red FM even has a tagline ‘Bajatey Raho’, all without sexist connotations,” she wrote.
She also questioned, “Mr Vinod Dua, Ms Dua’s father, had written a post – it’s been taken down now, stating: ‘I am going to screw this cretin Akshay Kumar.’ Should Mr Dua’s statement also be taken literally or taken in context?”
According to Twinkle, “humour has to be seen in its right context”. Clarifying that she supports “freedom within comedy”, she requested people to stop tagging her in posts related to this controversy.
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) October 29, 2017