The return of actor Armaan Kohli to the reality TV show Bigg Boss has not gone down well with women’s rights activists. Kohli was arrested on Monday night, after British actor and singer Sofia Hayat, a co-contestant on the show, filed a complaint against Kohli for hitting her. Kohli was released on bail on Tuesday afternoon, and sent back to the Bigg Boss house.
Social rights activist, Ranjana Kumari, says, “This is ridiculous. The show should be scrapped. It is very insulting for women. In my opinion, not just Armaan but even the producers of the show should be behind bars for this act.” In fact, Sofia has already indicated that she may sue the host channel, Colors, for not taking action against Kohli.
“The pattern of the show is such that it brings the worst out of a person, given they are made to stay under unnatural circumstances. And, this incident shows violence as a way of life. And I am sure everyone will agree that this is not how we want to showcase our culture and society as a whole!” says Chandni Taneja of Navjyoti India Foundation, a Delhi-based social organisation.
And it is not just activists, even viewers have protested against Kohli’s re-entry. A video on YouTube, that has gone viral, shows women in Mumbai attacking Kohli’s car with rotten tomatoes and raising slogans against him. Ruchi Jha, a freelance writer from Delhi and viewer of the show, says, “The return of Armaan Kohli on Bigg Boss after hitting Sofia is disheartening. It’s hypocritical of the system to talk about safety of women on the one hand and then not punish the guilty.”