Should Rahul Vaidya Be Banned For Sexist Tweets And Bullying On Bigg Boss 14?

Bigg Boss is known as a reality show that has a lot of toxic behaviour, but should the audience let Rahul Vaidya's behaviour go?


Bigg Boss is known as a reality show that has a lot of toxic behaviour, but should the audience let Rahul Vaidya’s behaviour go?

I started watching Hindi ‘Bigg Boss’ after I started working in a web news portal. Although I am not a fan of the ‘Big Brother’ series, I ended up following the show because the episodes were interesting when a fun task is done and when the contestants showed their game.

Of course, there have been problematic contestants in the past, like Swami Om, who threw urine at his co-contestants in ‘BB 10’ during a task. Priyanka Jagga who made misogynists remarks about Lopamudra Raut and taunted Manu Punjabi’s mother.

Zubair Khan, who was ousted by the audience poll but before that, he was slammed well by Salman Khan in the first week of ‘BB 11’ for making derogatory statements about women in the house. Armaan Kohli was arrested from the sets of the ‘BB 7.’

‘Bigg Boss 14’ was initially condemned for being too slow and boring. As the show itself is about bringing out the personalities of the contestants, it brought about the personalities of those who are sexist, homophobic, toxic, and a bully.

Rahul Vaidya’s ‘ladki mat ban’ comment

‘Girl’, ‘woman’ and other feminine connotations like ‘saree’ and ‘bangles’ are often used to insult men because womanhood is regarded as an insult for men in a patriarchal society.

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Rahul Vaidya was initially my personal favourite contestant this season. He was very impressive in the show, notably in the ‘field task’ where he had to impress the seniors to get the materials to build a field. He was also praised by the seniors for being very entertaining.

He earned a large following and support on Twitter after he called out Jaan Kumar Sanu for ‘nepotism’ while nominating him for eviction because we know that nepotism in Bollywood has become a touchy topic after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Star kids are facing flak worse than before. At the time, one can argue that Rahul made a gutsy remark though the timing and the context were completely wrong as Kumar Sanu is not involved in the show. And because Jaan revealed that his parents were separated and he’s supported only on his talent.

Rahul Vaidya fell from grace

After seeing the recent episode, it was like Rahul Vaidya fell from grace. He taunted Jaan by saying “ladka ban ja. ladki mat ban.” (be a man, not a woman). When he was confronted by Nikki Tamboli for his sexism, he said that “I don’t see him being a man.”

He was slammed by both Naina Singh and Nishant Malkani for his sexist “ladki mat ban” comments but he tried to justify it.

Later, defending his comments, he told Shardul Pandit that when a ladka acts like a ladki or when a ladki acts like a ladki then “vo off ban jati hain.” He is thus trying to say that acting “like a ladki” means being “off”, perpetuating internalised misogyny, that is often excused as ‘funny’ or for its casual nature. 

As per an earlier episode, Shehzad Deol said that Rahul Vaidya taunted both Rubina and Abhinav by singing “kiska pati nalla.”

Rahul earned his first flak for his misogyny after Pavitra Punia confronted him for saying that “she favoured Abhinav during a task because she had a crush on him.”

Not just on Bigg Boss – Rahul Vaidya has been problematic earlier

On a personal note, I would have ignored all this sexism on national TV because the fact on whether ‘Bigg Boss’ is scripted and if contestants are being favoured or discriminated against is not known. Until, some of his old tweets re-emerged where he made extremely problematic sexist, homophobic, and misogynist remarks.

I do remember seeing an angering tweet where he mentioned that, “a real woman never lets her man leave the house horny or hungry” and it was called out for benevolent misogyny.

And this one –

He had also made more problematic comments objectifying and fetishizing women. Notably, the tweet where he hopes that porn is not banned or else there will be more rapes.

So basically, if Bigg Boss is a personality show then Rahul’s personality as a sexist and a bully have emerged.

Bigg Boss makers did not let go of sexism

One of the earlier episodes of this season, where the female contestants were asked to ‘seduce’ senior Sidharth Shukla, was slammed for its ‘vulgarness’ and for objectifying women. Added to that, it was also noted that Shukla himself looked uncomfortable in the task.

Also, it was a cheap tactic from the makers’ end to use Jasmin Bhasin’s breakdown, after Rahul Vaidya pulled her bag hard during the captaincy task, in the promos. But, it just appeared like Bhasin was having an emotional breakdown over losing and said to be playing the ‘woman card’. She has been labeled as a ‘pseudo-feminist’ by several critics though others supported her.

After watching the episode, one will see the truth, which was that the bag was torn off her arms by Rahul’s pulling force as she still refused to let go. She was upset, not at his strength, but at his words where he asked her to “please let go” or else he will use force to pull and that “she might get injured.”

She had also spoken about facing a possible sexual assault and which is probably why she was affected by Rahul’s ‘warnings’.

I am not a fan of Jasmin Bhasin’s stint in the ‘BB-14’ game and I have not seen her previous work. This is also why I hope that people will view the scenario without a bias and with sensitivity. Clearly, the makers did not consider that before promoting Jasmin’s anger to get the audience’s curiosity.

Bigg Boss audience has always supported toxic behaviour

I wouldn’t be surprised if Rahul Vaidya ends up winning the show even with his obvious sexism, objectification, homophobia, both on Bigg Boss and on Twitter.

We have seen misogynist films becoming successful. Misogynist politicians end up as Chief Ministers and MPs.

Sidharth Shukla, who was constantly called out for aggression and bullying, won last year.

Sabumon Abdusamad, who had two police complaints against him for abusing women, won Malayalam Bigg Boss.

When it comes to Rahul Vaidya, I see fans comparing him with the previous winner Gautam Gulati for being a ‘one-man army’. The truth is that Gulati had apologised to Karishma Tanna multiple times for abusing her during a task whereas Vaidya constantly defended it. After calling out nepotism, he continued to bully Jaan Kumar Sanu, after which he had to further say that his mother divorced his famous father while she was pregnant with him.

Host Salman Khan has said that ‘Bigg Boss’ as a shows earns TRP when there is a fight inside. I just hope that he will call out the sexism and homophobia slurs in the house because he had done it before. More than anything else, the eviction should be based on the audience’s vote unlike how it was done with Shehzad Deol and Sara Gurpal. Otherwise, the show is not living up to its reputation as ‘Janta ka show.’

Author note: This is just a critical view of ‘Bigg Boss’ contestant’s sexist tweets and views. Not intended to feed any fan base in particular. 

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About the Author

Karthika S Nair

Journalist, movie geek blogger, fitness freak, and foodie.

11 Posts | 38,001 Views

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