We could smell trouble the very first day Abhijit Bichukale set foot on the Bigg Boss 15 set. It was quite apparent from his interaction with Salman Khan that while he had really strong opinions about women, he did not have much to say about men. When questioned by the host about his plans inside the house and the person he would like to challenge, Neha Bhasin was the first name that he uttered. Apparently, it was the singer’s fight with Pratik Sehjapal that was his problem with her. Abhijit shared that he did not like the fact that Neha got violent with Pratik and then said something around how it showed “sanskaar ki kami‘ on her part. Meanwhile, he conveniently chose to ignore all the violence and aggression that men had been responsible for in the house.
However, we got to see a rather different side of Abhijit when he finally entered the house. He appeared much calmer and quieter. But that could not hide his sexist ways and misogynistic thinking that Tejasswi Prakash was the first one to figure out as he went around the house saying how women do the house chores better than men. That said, he was polite with everyone until he ended up having a tiff with Shamita Shetty in an immunity task. During the altercation, he was also heard saying that he does not care about any “kalis (buds)” or titliyan (butterflies)” that come in his way. The comment was, of course, directed at Shamita but when she reacted to the same, he very conveniently turned it around and said that he was speaking generally. Things then took a turn for the worse during a Weekend Ka Vaar task. “Jisko main kali samjha tha wo nikli hai gandi nali (The one that I thought was a flower bud has turned out to be a dirty drain),” he said while clearly pointing at Shamita this time.
Later, Rashami Desai also revealed that Abhijit had said that he keeps women like Shamita on his feet. This is when the actress lost her cool and asked Salman to take action against him. When Salman questioned Abhijit about the foul language he again very conveniently tried dodging it by saying how Shamita was the one who instigated him by making fun of his name. ‘Aesi ladki ko main apki jooti par rakhta hun,’ he repeated in front of the host. However, it is what happened next that has us truly shocked.
Instead of repudiating Abhijit for his misogynistic comments, Salman literally asked Shamita to calm down. The host excused his foul language by saying that “he clearly has a language problem and it comes off as problematic because he is translating everything from Marathi.” He then refused to listen to any of what Shamita was saying and asked everyone to understand that Abhijit is ‘clearly different.’
Firstly, if Abhijit’s misogyny is just a “language” problem then how come he hasn’t tried to pull off this crap with any men in the house? Why is he not objectifying men by calling them ‘flowers,’ ‘wasps,’ or other random names? Why was he so understanding and polite when Umar Riaz refused to give him his bed? Why is he creepily trying to offer work projects to Shamita when she is clearly not interested and not anyone else in the house? Yes, Salman is right Abhijit has a clear problem which is misogyny and not a lack of understanding on his part like he is trying to package it. As Nishant Bhat has aptly put it, ‘He has done a reality show before and knows exactly what he is doing.’
Truth be told, we aren’t expecting any understanding or course correction on Salman’s part. We have seen him being a problematic host for over a decade now. All that we are saying is that supporting misogyny is as bad as practising it Also, you might confuse the contestants by trying to invoke their humanity for the perpetrator but not us. We have seen the same drill far too many times to fall for it. Not this time Salman!
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