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National Commission for SC issues notice to Bigg Boss, Colors TV after a casteist remark was made to a contestant Congress leader in the show

On Thursday, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes issued notice to Endemol India Pvt Ltd, the maker of the TV Show ‘Bigg Boss’ after one of the candidates of the show named Vikas Manaktala, allegedly referred to another cast member, Archana Gautam, as “Neech jati ke log,” which is an indictable offence under the SC/ST Act. The Commission also sent the notice to the Mumbai Commissioner of Police and Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd seeking action against Manaktala.

The Commission in the notice stated that the remark made by Manaktala was casteist and that it took suo-motu cognizance of the incident. “Suo-Motu cognizance has been taken on information received through social media regarding Manaktala calling Gautam ‘neech jati ke log’ (a low caste person),” the notice also issued to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Colors TV read.

“According to Indian law, this is clearly an offence punishable under SC/ST Act, and the Commission has decided to investigate the matter in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India. You are hereby requested to submit an action taken report to the undersigned within seven days of receipt of this notice,” it added.

In the earlier episode, both the contestants had engaged in a brutal fight after which Archana Gautam threw hot water on the other contestants. The video clip of the incident was shared by Colors TV in which Gautam could be seen restricting Vikas from making tea. “Yeh raha mera bartan (This is my utensil),” she yelled as Vikas snatches it from her and tosses away the utensil saying, “Mere muh ke saamne mat la (Don’t bring it near my face).” The video ended with Shalin Bhanot attempting to drag away an enraged Vikas.

Also, the duo could be seen fighting in one of the latest episodes over Vikas’s personal life. During the argument, contestant Archana made personal remarks about Vikas and stated that he would never be able to become a parent. She stated that her father had four children. Meanwhile, Tina Datta, Priyanka Chahar Choudhary, and other housemates advised her to heed her remarks. According to the reports, Vikas’s wife Gunjan suffered a miscarriage and Vikas happened to tell Archana the other day. The woman used the personal piece of information provided by Vikas in a brutal fight against him.

After the fight between the duo in the kitchen, Vikas’s wife Gunjan supported her husband and said, “He was very calm and composed in the beginning. Archana instigated him and threw the pan of boiling water. Vikas and Priyanka, who were standing close, could have been hurt. Even then, they didn’t make an issue about it. Had it been Archana, she would have demanded his eviction with immediate effect. She was the one who kept screaming and shouting, while Vikas and Priyanka maintained their dignity.”

To note, Archana Gautam joined Congress last year and contested the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls from Hastinapur. The winner of the 2018 Miss Bikini Universe India pageant, however, managed to secure only 1,519 votes while BJP’s Dinesh received 1.07 lakh votes and Samajwadi Party candidate Yogesh Verma received 1 lakh votes.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes in the given case has taken suo moto cognizance of the incident and has demanded strict action against Vikas Manaktala.

Bigg Boss, now in its 16th season, airs from Monday to Friday at 10 pm on ColorsTV. The channel, however, broadcasts the show on Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm. Salman Khan, who debuted the reality show in its fourth season, hosts the show. He’s been the host for the past eight years.

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