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Bollywood actor is receiving flak on social media for a sexist and casteist remark against Mayawati, four times Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In a video shared online, Hooda claims he’s going to make a “dirty joke” and sets up a premise of Mayawati walking down a street with twins (aged a few years apart) and a stranger interacts with her. The punch line is the stranger’s comment, “Somewhere has been there twice?” Randeep is laughing, the audience cheers him on.

As many on social media rightly pointed out, both Mayawati’s gender and caste identity need to be considered while understanding the impact of this joke. Netizens brought up that these comments would not be made about savarna men, politicians or otherwise. Some users also said that Mayawati being a Dalit woman plays a role in the confidence with which Randeep could make the joke in a public setting.

A Twitter user posted a video of Randeep Hooda making the comment, and wrote, ” if this does not explain how casteist and sexist this society is, especially towards dalit women, i don’t know what will. the “joke”, the audacity, the crowd. randeep hooda, top bollywood actor talking about a dalit woman, who has been the voice of the oppressed.”

CPIML Politburo leader Kavita Krishnan also shared the video with the comment, criticising it for being casteist and misogynist. She tweeted, “Not a “joke” @RandeepHooda . You notice no one makes “jokes” saying a male politician is too ugly to f***? You are doing what casteist, misogynist, insecure turds do when confronted with women whose strength they fear: attack the woman as unattractive.”

Several netizens agree with that sentiment.

Some users on social media also asked UNEP (UN Environment Programme) to reconsider their appointment of Randeep Hooda as the ambassador of the Bonn Convention which deals with the protection of migratory species.

Ridiculing female politicians for their appearance is not a new occurrence, it’s been done before. Whenever a woman and/or a Dalit-Bahujan person seek a position of power, people start talking about their physical appearance and caste identity, disregarding their merit.

In March 2014, a major publication published an an article about five Indian female politicians who ‘need a fashion makeover’. Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, J. Jayalalithaa, Uma Bharti and Rabri Devi were on the list.

Recently, many celebrities have been called out for their casteist remarks, including TV actors Munmun Dutta, Yuvika Chaudhary, comedian Neville Shah, sportsperson Yuvraj Singh.

Also Read: Yuvika Apologises After Being Called Out For Casteist Slur in Vlog

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