I neither have the patience nor the time for niceties today and will come straight to the point—what the actual f**k were Salman Khan and Bigg Boss makers trying to pull off in last night’s episode. The only reason I sat down to watch the show tonight was that I was looking forward to all the bashing that I thought Abhijit Bichukale was going to get. If only I had the faintest idea about the shit show that was awaiting me.
Earlier this week, we saw Abhijit Bichukale stooping to the lowest low and asking Devoleena Bhattacharjee for a kiss in exchange for his support in a task. He kept getting more and more creepy with every passing moment and we could see it in his body language. Devoleena finally snapped at him and ended up raising it to the rest of the housemates thus leading to a lot of drama and agitation. To my very surprise, there were some housemates including Shamita Shetty and Rashami Desai who found Devoleena somewhat responsible for what had transpired. Well, as a viewer, who had seen it all, I was pretty sure that there was no way the makers and the host could defend all this crap even if they wanted to. Of course, I was horribly wrong.
Throughout the episode, not only did Salman Khan make a plethora of highly problematic comments but also protected the perpetrator by questioning the victim. Of course, the aim was to turn everything around, put his favourites Rashami and Shamita in good light and save Abhijit’s ass for some God forsaken reason. Sadly, he forgot that the viewers are no fools and can see things for what they are.
I, for one, feel very wronged and triggered after listening to Salman today and want to write an open letter as someone who has had her share of horrible encounters with creepy men like Abhijit. Here is an answer to everything that the host had to say tonight and how he has wronged every single woman who has been victimised by creepy, problematic men.
Right at the beginning of the discussion, Salman very conveniently referred to Abhijit’s lecherous behaviour as a joke. ‘He was obviously joking and got a little carried away,’ he said. Firstly, it was very clear from Abhijit’s body language that he was not joking. He was aggressively pushing Devoleena to give in and kiss him. In fact, it looked like a very calculated move from his end. He thought that she was gullible enough to do what he was asking for, asked for it only when no one was around and very quickly reacted when she raised the topic in front of everyone. “Chup, chup,” he instantly said while asking her not to make a mudda out of it.
Secondly, if a problematic joke makes someone uncomfortable, that’s it. Neither Salman Khan nor BB makers get to excuse harassment by calling it a “joke.” That’s not how it works. I would not be comfortable if someone I am not interested in, jokingly asks for a kiss. It is problematic and that’s exactly how Devoleena felt about it too. Why is it so difficult to understand?
If “Abhijit just got carried away”, then this is certainly not Devoleena’s problem just like ‘men would be men’ is not women’s problem. If he got carried away, then he would have to face the consequences too. It is basic logic.
For weeks on end, Salman has been giving Abhijit the benefit of doubt by pointing at how he is obviously different from the rest of the housemates and has a ‘language problem’. Then why does it become an issue when Devoleena does the exact same? Salman’s biggest argument today was why did not Devoleena immediately react to Abhijit’s demands for a kiss instead of waiting for him to ask for it thrice.
Actually, she waited before making a scene out of it because she too thought of it as a joke in the beginning. She only reacted when things got out of hand and Abhijit had literally started pouncing at Devoleena and intimidating her physically.
Also, as a woman in India, I have had my share of catcalling and problematic advances. A lot of times I do not react to any of it because it is something very shocking and upsetting to experience. I can not even recollect the number of times I have played the ordeal in my head thinking of reactions that I could have given but did not because I was too dumbstruck to react. I get why Devoleena did not react immediately and no one gets to question her for taking her time.
Shamita’s reaction after she heard about the entire row was that Devoleena does not get to “pick and choose” when she is comfortable with Abhijit and when she is not. “It is very convenient,” she said. Of course, Salman fully agreed with this line of thought. Well, let me break something to them—yes, we get to pick and choose what makes us comfortable and what does not. Because with Shamita and Salman’s ideology, someone will tomorrow end up justifying marital rape as well and that would just be the tip of the avalanche that will follow.
As per Rashami Desai, Devoleena is responsible for what has transpired because when you give someone your finger then they will naturally reach for the hand. Ummmm…what?? Who thinks like that? It is because of people like Rashmi that the women in India can’t fight against men like Abhijit and it is because of people like Rashami that women get victim-blamed all the time. As for Salman, who agreed with Rashami and said “yahi dastoor hai,” I have just one thing to say—pretty sure you have made a lot of women really, really uncomfortable without even realising it!
“Tu jitna bolega utna hi fasega Bichukale,” Salman was heard warning Abhijit. Okay, and what is the problem with a creep showing his true side? Why not let him fall in the ditch that he dug for himself? Why the hell was he given a heads up? Not gonna lie, to me, it really looked like the actor was trying to protect Abhijit and that’s just horrible.
‘If someone is making you uncomfortable, avoid him right there. If they do it again, keep avoiding it and they won’t dare to do it for the third time.’ This is Salman’s advice on dealing with unsolicited advances and let me just tell you, it’s absolute trash. Clearly, he has never heard of crazy stalkers and rapists who take our silence for our weakness. Dear women, when someone makes you uncomfortable, make sure that you stand up for yourself, raise your voice against it, and don’t listen to people whose only suggestion is to stay quiet and endure the horror.
Lastly, dear Salman Khan, let me reiterate that you went horribly wrong today and you owe each and every woman an apology for the shit show of an episode that we had to endure.
Featured Image: Twitter