Sanket Upadhyay, the Executive Editor of NDTV, was under immense fire today online for a tweet of his which was widely criticized for ‘mocking’ Biharis. The tweet in question seems to poke fun at people from Bihar for their typically stereotyped accents and phonetics, which has been mainstream by Bollywood. A huge backlash resulted in the wake of the tweet, with many criticizing Mr. Upadhyay for disparaging the language, speech, people and culture of Bihar.
Sanket Upadhyay tweeted that while the rest of the country pronounce the word vaccine correctly, in Bihar it is pronounced as ‘bhaccine’, mocking the way the letter v is pronounced in Bihar, and also some other states in Eastern India.
In the rest of the country : Vaccine— Sanket Upadhyay (@sanket) March 3, 2021
In Bihar : भेक्सीन।
Twitter User Anupam Srivastava calls out Mr. Upadhyay for his ‘misplaced sense of superiority’ in making fun of other languages and people.
Boss, I don’t know what high one gets making fun of language & people. Some misplaced sense of superiority…I am sorry.— Anupam Srivastava (@anupamsri) March 3, 2021
Another twitter user named Neil kept his criticism short and simple, making Mr. Upadhyay know that poking fun at other languages would not make him ‘cool’.
Making fun of languages won’t make u look cool— Neil (@neil_sane) March 3, 2021
Some Twitter users also attacked Mr. Upadhyay for his Brahmin caste and claimed that an upper-class person was mocking a less privileged state.
Upper Caste Upadhyay mocking English of a less privileged state. Not surprised with this Brahminical Patriarchy https://t.co/Uoe4XyoO6e— Janab Aashish (@kashmiriRefuge) March 3, 2021
The tweet invited several such angry reactions from social media users.
Mr. Sanket Upadhyay is a longtime member of Indian journalism, starting off his career as a writer for Hindustan Times, with stints at NDTV, News X, the India Today group, the Times group and then finally a return to NDTV. He is currently is Executive Editor at NDTV, a position he has held since October 2020.