Chetan Bhagat You Should Apologise To Uorfi Javed If You Really Want To ‘Guide’ Young Men!

Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words. 

Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.

“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”

Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.

“Guys, let’s not forget how so many women accused him during #MeToo case! I don’t understand one thing. What was the need to bring up my name at a literature festival? I’m not an author. I have nothing to do with literature. Also, you said I’m spoiling the youth, they look at my posts. You are old. As old as my uncles and father. Despite being married, why were you sending texts to girls half your age?”

What makes this incident alarming is Bhagat jeering at Uorfi Javed and inciting the audience to mock her at a literature festival. Why the double face and standards, Mr. Bhagat, when you were accused during #MeToo movement of propositioning young women a few years ago? Whatever be the equation between Chetan Bhagat and Ira Trivedi, the fact remains that he of all the people shouldn’t be moral policing others when his own character can be questioned.

Too much of male privilege that was speaking here?

Chetan Bhagat’s response to Uorfi Javed’s Instagram stories stinks of male privilege.

“Have never spoken to/chatted with/met/ known someone where it’s being spread that I have done so. It’s fake, a lie. Also a non-issue. Haven’t criticised anyone. And I also think there’s nothing wrong in telling people to stop wasting time on Instagram and focus on fitness and career.” The author continued, “That’s not her mistake, she is doing what she is doing to make her career.” He added he wants “to guide people in the right direction.”

You don’t “guide people” by slut-shaming women for the outfits they wear. That’s what every pedestrian person is doing anyway by trolling Javed on her Instagram posts. Some people choose to be entertainers like Uorfi Javed, while others choose to protect the nation at the borders.

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You need to stop judging women by their attire, and think they are ‘easy’ because of the outfits they wear, the profession they work, or the free spirited attitude they sport.

Uorfi Javed: The unlikely victim and revolutionary

Uorfi Javed might not look and behave like the ‘innocent’ victim. With her sense of style and attitude, it’s easy to dump the blame on her by saying that she’s “asking for it”. It’s easy to dismiss her as being anything but a victim. But in this incident, she truly is.

While I might not share her fashion aesthetics, I admire Uorfi Javed’s courage to stand up for herself and other women. And it’s not just with Chetan Bhagat.

Earlier this year, Anjali Arora, an aspiring actress who started her career with TikTok and Instagram, found herself amid an MMS leak controversy post her participation in LockUpp Season 1. Anjali Arora denied having anything to do with that video.

Uorfi Javed supported Anjali Arora in an interview with Siddharth Kannan. She said whether the MMS video was recorded with her consent or not, Anjali is still the victim as the video leak was a blatant invasion of her privacy. And as a society we should stop indulging in victim-shaming and slut-shaming. Are George Kutty and Vijay Salgaonkar from the Drishyam series fame listening up and taking notes from Uorfi Javed?

Uorfi had also called out Sajid Khan’s participation in Big Boss 16 because of the #MeToo allegations against him and questioned Kashmera Shah and Shehnaaz Gill’s support for him.

A newbie artist like Uorfi Javed has done what we’d expect from veteran authors like Chetan Bhagat—to think differently from the majority, and to open our hearts and minds.

Let’s change the narrative and put the blame where it belongs, and not where it’s convenient. Uorfi Javed rightly called out the rape culture in her Instagram stories.

Enough of the male privilege and lack of accountability

It’s unfortunate and telling that the organisers of the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival stayed mum on the Chetan Bhagat-Uorfi Javed controversy. That Chetan Bhagat is an influential man makes it easier for him to shirk his responsibility and not take any accountability for his wrongdoings.

Women like Uorfi Javed, Anjali Arora, and Amber Heard might not fit our definition of the ‘perfect victim’ and so we write them off immediately. It’s easy for men to get away in incidents involving such women as they garner no empathy or support from people. But again, when did women who fit our definition of the ‘perfect victim’ get justice? Whether or not the perfect victim is a myth, male privilege surely is a reality.

Instead of his patronising response, Bhagat owes an apology to Uorfi Javed and all of us women. That’s the least he can do if he really means the part about guiding others in the right direction.

So before Bhagat ventures into the grand ambition of guiding others in the right direction, someone please guide him in the right direction because he seems to have clearly lost it.

Images source: Instagram

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Tina Sequeira

Author, poet, and marketer, know more about Tina Sequeira here: read more...

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