The new season of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge has garnered more attention for the Akshay Kumar-Mallika Dua controversy than the content. The actor who serves as one of the judges on the show invited a whole lot of flak for his comment on his colleague and fellow comedienne, Mallika Dua. In a clip from the show that went viral on social media, Akshay was seen telling his co-judge, “Mallika ji, aap bell bajao, mai aapko bajaata hoon.”
Mallika’s father and veteran journalist, Vinod Dua called out the ‘joke’ and slammed Akshay saying: “I am going to screw this cretin Akshay Kumar for telling his co-worker Mallika Dua that ‘Aap bell bajao, main aap ko bajata hun’ (You ring the bell, I will bang you)… This is his sense of humour and language… Wake up.”
Mallika also responded to people asking her to look at the intention and not take the joke literally. She talked to The Quint and said:
Was it the single most vile act of inappropriate behaviour? No. Was it enough to make one uncomfortable? Yes. Would the superstar be offended had someone jokingly said to his daughter “Nitaara ji, aap bell bajaaiye main aapko bajaata hoon”? – most probably.What stayed with me was why and how is that statement a joke, and why was it necessary to crack that one with a colleague? I also wondered why the same joke wasn’t directed at my co-mentors Zakir Khan and Hussain Dalal. I shrugged and went back to work, like women generally do.This isn’t about Akshay Kumar. This is about every big Bollywood star and every other big shot, who cannot tell the difference between charm and harm. This is about every big celebrity who thinks his colleague enjoys being grabbed by the waist and twirled without her consent. This is about workplace etiquette for everybody, men and women included, and about understanding the idea of professional communication so we don’t make someone uncomfortable in their place of work, unintentionally or otherwise.
Meanwhile, Akshay’s wife and former actress, Twinkle Khanna who is known for being quite expressive and opinionated, while addressing the controversy tweeted that ‘humour should always be considered in ‘its right context.’
Here’s her tweet:
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) October 29, 2017
Mallika reacted to this tweet and laughed it off:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH No. https://t.co/x1GRbWCHkX
— Mallika Dua (@MallikaDua) October 30, 2017
Now, this explanation from Twinkle Khanna didn’t go down well with Vinod Dua, and he again took to Facebook to slam the actress. He posted:
We hope this ends soon!