On March 29, netizens expressed outrage over a derogatory video published by YouTube Bhuvan Bam on women from mountainous areas (Pahadan women). In the video, Bam could be seen acting in three different roles. One of the characters was talking on the phone to arrange a model for some shoot. He made derogatory remarks against the women in the video and tried to depict them to be indulged in prostitution.
The 7 minutes 15-second long video titled “Automatic Gaadi” was published on his YouTube channel on March 25. The derogatory comments could be seen from 5 minutes 39-seconds onwards. In the video, one of the characters is called a “dealer”, who he thought was a car dealer. Upon asking about a model, the person on the other end offered him a ‘Pahadan woman’ that would fit in his budget. Several derogatory remarks such as “she would take from behind” were used in the act. Gigolo, a word used for male prostitutes, was also used in the act.
Pahadi Panda’s founder Ashish Nautiyal raised the issue on the social media platform Twitter and demanded action from the National Commission of Women against the YouTuber. He also demanded the video should be removed immediately and urged for suspension of Bam’s YouTube channel. In a tweet, he said, “Can NCW Chief Rekha Sharma take action against Bhuvan Bam for making such derogatory comments on women? It is essential to stop such elements from reaching out to the youth of the country with their content.”
महिलाओं के लिए ऐसी टिप्पणी करने पर क्या @sharmarekha जी @Bhuvan_Bam के ख़िलाफ़ कार्रवाई के आदेश दे सकती हैं? चूँकि यह व्यक्ति बच्चों द्वारा भी देखा जा सकता है इसलिए यह भी आवश्यक है कि ऐसे लोगों को युवाओं तक पहुँचने से रोका जाए और सम्भव हो तो इसका YouTube चैनल डिलीट किया जाए।— Ashish Nautiyal (@ashu_nauty) March 30, 2022
Bam and women’s rights
Ironically, Bam had raised the issue of women’s rights in the past. In 2019, he had released a video in which he talked about women’s rights and safety following the rape and murder of a young veterinarian. The funny thing is, in his video, he had called for sensitising and educating men rather than blaming women for the atrocities they face.
Netizens react to the ribald nature of the gig enacted by Bhuvan Bam
Netizens strongly criticised Bam for his derogatory act in the video. Author and Screenwriter Advaita Kala said in a tweet, “This is not humour – it’s vulgar misogynistic trash that objectifies women and, in particular pahaadi women.”
This is not humour – it’s vulgar misogynistic trash that objectifies women and in particular pahaadi women. https://t.co/zbCjl4Ealx— अद्वैता काला Advaita Kala 😷 (@AdvaitaKala) March 30, 2022
In a follow-up tweet, she tagged NCW chief Rekha Sharma and urged her to take immediate action. She said, “Request Rekha Sharma Mam to please make a note of this content and take suitable action. “Kitna deti hai – kahan se leti hai” with reference to pahaadi or any woman is unacceptable and contributes to rape culture.”
Request @sharmarekha Mam, to please make note of this content and take suitable action. “Kitna deti hai – kahan se leti hai” with reference to pahaadi or any woman is unacceptable and contributes to rape culture. https://t.co/jtVNn7aMdy— अद्वैता काला Advaita Kala 😷 (@AdvaitaKala) March 30, 2022
Political Analyst Ankit Pandey said, “Tomorrow, the word ‘Pahadan’ would become a double-meaning word because of Bam or some other comedian.”
Journalist Kishor Joshi of TN Navbharat called it a derogatory video and said, “The video and remarks are derogatory. Some day these people would get punched just like Will Smith [punched Chris Rock] for making such derogatory video.”
निहायत ही घटिया वीडियो और टिप्पणी है। कभी ऐसे लोगों को भी #WilllSmith जैसा घूंसा पड़ेगा इस तरह के बेहूदा वीडियो बनाने पर। सूचना और प्रसारण मंत्री @ianuragthakur जी खुद पहाड़ी राज्य से आते हैं उनसे ऐसे लोगों के चैनल और कंटेंट पर पर ऐक्शन लेने की अपेक्षा तो रख ही सकते हैं। https://t.co/Ms98NhkpWE— Kishor Joshi (@KishorJoshi02) March 30, 2022
He further urged Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, who himself comes from a mountainous region, to take strict action against Bam.