An allegedly ‘derogatory’ reference to south central Bihar district headquarters town of Ara, during a television comedy show, has landed TV personality and politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, comedian Kapil Sharma and several others in a court case.
‘Bhojpuriya Sena’ president Prabhat Kumar Singh has filed a case in the court of the Ara chief judicial magistrate (CJM), claiming Sidhu had slighted the people of Ara in Bhojpur district by stating that the area was infamous for ‘dacoits’.
He has named singer and music composer Sonu Nigam, who was a guest at the show, Sony Entertainment Television and its CEO NP Singh, as other respondents in the case.
The court of CJM has fixed January 21 as the date for recording the statement of petitioner Singh.
The petitioner said that on November 19, while Kapil Sharma’s popular comedy show was being telecast on Sony TV, a youth of Ara stood up to ask some question from Sonu Nigam and the host, Kapil Sharma.
In response, Kapil asked the youth what Ara was famous for. Before the man could reply, Sidhu alleged said Ara was (in)famous for ‘dacoits’ and Varanasi (in eastern UP) for ‘thugs’ (loosely, cheaters).
“Shockingly, Sidhu’s insulting remark was not refuted by Kapil Sharma or Sonu Nigam, leaving the people of Ara (Bhojpur), known for their bravery, feeling utterly humiliated. Even the TV channel and its CEO did not put out a disclaimer”, the petitioner told HT.
Prabhat Kumar Singh said the episode was re-telecast several times, thereby sullying the image of Bhojpuri people again and again.
Asked why he had filed the complaint (on Monday) more than a month after the ‘offending’ episode was first telecast, the petitioner said he required time to collect evidence to establish his case.