Few days after its release, Anushka Sharma’s production, Paatal Lok has landed in legal trouble. All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association’s (AAPGYA) Namsai unit president and NHRC activist Bikash Bhattarai have reportedly filed a complaint against Anushka Sharma for a casteist slur in the crime fiction series, that reportedly portrays Gorkha Women in a poor light and is an insult to the Nepali speaking community, NorthEast Now reported. The complaint has been filed before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In addition to this, Viren Sri Gurung, a member of the Lawyers Guild has sent a legal notice to Anushka Sharma for a casteist word that appears in the second episode of the show, The Quint reported. He is yet to receive a response from Anushka Sharma, and in case she fails to respond on time, the matter will be taken to the OTT Platform streaming it (Amazon Prime), along with others involved in the series.

Casteist Slur On A Nepali Character

The casteist slur, which has been reportedly used in the second episode of the show, is deemed to be derogatory and is an insult to the Nepali community, according to Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh. The Parisangh people are of the view that the slur portrayed the community’s women in poor light. The scene that slips in at 3:41 in the second episode witnesses a policewoman hurling at a character named Mary Lyngdoh.

Around 10.5 million people speak Nepali in India as a common tongue and the Gorkha community is India’s largest Nepali speaking community. Explaining the matter to The Quint, Gurung says, “There is a clip wherein during an interrogation a lady police officer uses a casteist slur on a Nepali character. There wouldn’t have been any problem had only ‘Nepali’ been used. But the word that follows it is unacceptable. Since Anushka Sharma is one of the producers of the show, we have served her a notice.”

Also Read: Eight Women-Centric Web Series That Had Our Attention In 2019

Online Petition By The Community

Infuriated by the use of slur, the Community started an online petition, addressed to the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Minister Prakash Javadekar, Amazon Prime Video, and series producer Anushka Sharma and cited that the slur be muted, blurred and the edited video be made available. They also demanded an unconditional apology and a disclaimer.

The Word Highlights Racism 

“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,” they wrote in the notice posted on Twitter.

Also Read: How Can India Be More Accepting? Queer Community Tells Us

“The word has been used in a filthy, regressive way… We shouldn’t and cannot consume anything that is stereotyping and targetting the community in the name of creative freedom and in pursuit of entertainment excellence,” Nanda Kirati Dewan, President of the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh told The Hindu.

The crime fiction Paatal Lok has been produced by Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films and has also attracted criticism for using Hindus as villains. They were reportedly of the view that this has been done for commercial gains.

Soon after this, the hashtag #boycottpaatallok started trending on Twitter, and the users also urged Amazon Prime to stop streaming this series.

Another recent controversy related to Paatal Lok came to light when the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently issued a notice to Sharma, and the OTT platform Amazon Prime. The notice was issued in response to a petition that highlights how the content in episode three of the series has upset the Sikh community. A bench consisting of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi issued a notice of motion to the Union of India and 15 other respondents, say news reports. “The respondents have purposely and maliciously within the intent of creating communal disharmony and caste-based clashes have shown two communities in a bad light,” the petition filed by advocate Gurdeepinder Singh Dhillon said.

Picture Credit- India Today

Also Read: Anushka ‘Breaks Silence’ About The Fabricated Stories Against Her

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.