A complaint against Anushka Sharma's production Paatal Lok has been filed with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for alleged racial and gender slur. The series is produced by Anushka's Clean Slate Films, headlined by Jaideep Ahlawat, and also stars Abhishek Bannerjee, Gul Panag and Swastika Mukherjee.
The web series landed in trouble after the All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association filed a complaint with the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) against the producer for allegedly using 'insulting, demeaning, and derogatory' language for a Nepali-speaking woman in the second episode.
"Such stereotyping not only maligns the community as a whole but normalizes such racism as a standard practice for the people. It sets a distorted image among people regarding a certain community, the brunt of which, the people living there have to face," Nanda Kirati Dewan, president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh told NDTV.
The Gorkha community had initiated an online petition addressing Minister Prakash JavadekarUnion Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the web series producer Anushka Sharma and Amazon Prime Video, that the slur depicted the women of the community in poor light and demanded that Amazon to mute the slur, blur subtitles and upload edited video along with an apology.
Noting that the issue had become more serious in light of the instances of racial discrimination during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the screengrab read: “We have been fighting Corona racism. To add to our woes, this web series will incite not just racial but sexual slur and rape attempts at the women of our community. We strongly condemn it in toughest terms and seek immediate removal of the scene’s subtitles and mut[ing of] the slur”.
The All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association took to Facebook on May 18 to share a screengrab of their complaint along with a caption detailing how their identity is maligned by the alleged sexist and racial slur.
Earlier this week, Lawyers Guild member Viren Sri Gurung sent Anushka Sharma a legal notice for an alleged caste slur on the show.
Paatal Lok was launched last week on the Amazon Prime and is widely appreciated for its stratified and incisive look at caste, class and religious equations in the country.