Raghav Juyal, host of popular dance reality TV show Dance Deewane 3 has found himself in hot waters for racist comments directed towards a little child contestant hailing from Guwahati, Assam.
In an undated clip that has gone viral on social media platforms, Raghav could be seen going about his anchoring duties, calling little Gunjan on the stage for her performance. However, in the introduction, Raghav, out-of-blue starts muttering gibberish Chinese, as an attempt to mock the contestant who hails from Assam.
Momo, Chowmein and a bunch of other derogatory words used by Raghav
Words like ‘Momo’ and ‘Chowmein’ are used by Raghav which are often incorporated by racist sleazebags as derogatory terms to continue racism against people hailing from the North East region of the country.
After uttering the gibberish Chinese, Raghav remarks, “Introducing the little girl whose Chinese may not be indecipherable but her dance is understood by everyone…she is Gunjan Singh from Assam,”
Racism!@TheRaghav_Juyal introducing Gunjan Sinha of Assam in #DanceDeewane3 of @ColorsTV with "Momo", "Chinese" and celebs like @remodsouza, @MadhuriDixit have no objection in it.
People of Assam is not Chinese, yet such shows always do racism comments.
When will it stop? pic.twitter.com/cOTA8s8nvy
— Ron Bikash Gaurav (@RonBikashGaurav) November 15, 2021
Judges had a smirk on their faces
Not only this, Raghav, in a rather non-humorous way, takes a dig at little Gunjan’s height while calling her. Meanwhile, Judges Remo D’Souza, Madhuri Dixit, Tushar Kalia, and Dharmesh Yelande allow Raghav to get away with his racist monologue.
Remo and Madhuri even have a smirk on their face all through the act while the other two appear to be an accomplice in the act, often chiming in between to make the take supposedly creative and engaging.
An insincere ‘no-apology’ video
After being called out and receiving a bucketful of hate for his statements, Raghav took to Instagram to share a lengthy monologue of his version of the events. It is pertinent to note that nowhere in the 3-minute video, he apologized on a single occasion.
Right off the bat, Raghav tagged himself as the victim and stated that it would not be good for his mental health given the deluge of criticism coming his way.
“It’s unfair and not good for my mental health to see this short clip without the right context. When this contestant came to the show, she announced that she had a talent of speaking Chinese. My performance was based on that,”
Raghav stated that it was not racism on his part but was related to something that the contestant had said earlier. He said that once the girl had said she can speak in Chinese, which turned out to be gibberish, and since then, it had become a running joke on the show.
Gaslighting the victim
According to Raghav, in the later episodes, he used gibberish Chinese like Gunjan to evoke humour for audiences. Even though he was making a fool of himself up until this point, what Raghav said afterwards, surely sank his ship of apology. Gaslighting the little girl and the people of North East, Raghav added that he has many friends in the northeast and would never make fun of them.
Yes, Raghav using the same stale trope that most racists often use shouldn’t surprise anyone. 11 out of 10 racists use excuses like “I have friends of North East. I have black friends. I have friends of color” so on and so forth.
Recently, after the Yorkshire Cricket Club was called out for racism by its ex-player Azeem Rafiq, the perpetrators in question used a similar excuse of banter and that they were friends with the victims.
As soon as the video clipping went viral, the netizens started demanding the arrest of Raghav and called him incessantly for his remarks. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took note of the video and condemned Raghav’s action by taking it to Twitter.
He tweeted, “It has come to my notice that a popular reality show host has used racist rhetoric against a young participant from Guwahati. This is shameful and totally unacceptable. Racism has no place in our country and we should all condem it unequivocally.”
It has come to my notice that a popular reality show host has used racist rhetoric against a young participant from Guwahati. This is shameful and totally unacceptable. Racism has no place in our country and we should all condem it unequivocally.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) November 16, 2021
Even if Raghav and the creative team had talked to Gunjan beforehand, they should realize that the little girl is only 6-years old. She doesn’t understand how casual racism is an inherent part of the behaviour of problematic people like Raghav. If allowed to go scot-free, the impressionable audience would take a cue and start addressing people from the northeast in a similar manner, if they do not already do so.
Racism in any shape, form or variety is not acceptable. It is one of the few non-negotiables that every single citizen of the country has to agree upon. Raghav crossed the line and has to pay the price for it.