Assam CM says TV host Juyal’s ‘racist’ remark on contestant ‘shameful’; he clarifies by sharing ‘story’

Published on Nov 16, 2021 05:07 PM IST

Colors TV’s ‘Dance Deewane 3’ host Raghav Juyal apologised for his remark on the contestant from Assam’s capital Guwahati, but also urged people to “watch the whole show” instead of making a clip viral and judging on grounds of it.

‘Dance Deewane 3’ host and dancer-actor Raghav Juyal said he has family in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, and also has friends in Nagaland with whom he grew up in boarding school.
‘Dance Deewane 3’ host and dancer-actor Raghav Juyal said he has family in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, and also has friends in Nagaland with whom he grew up in boarding school.
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday pulled up dancer and TV host Raghav Juyal for his alleged racist remark on a northeast contestant at a dance reality programme.

In a 40-second video clip that has gone viral on social media, Juyal, who hosts Colors TV’s ‘Dance Deewane 3’ can be seen introducing a contestant from Assam’s Guwahati while speaking gibberish, seemingly to make a mockery of Mandarin spoken by the Chinese people.

On being asked by Bollywood actor and judge Madhuri Dixit-Nene and choreographer Remo D’Souza, who was present at the episode as a special guest, on the reason for speaking in that manner, Juyal said, “People might not be able to understand her Chinese but they surely understand her dance.”

Taking cognisance of the clip, Sarma took to Twitter, writing that such behaviour is “shameful and totally unacceptable.”

“It has come to my notice that a popular reality show host has used racist rhetoric against a young participant from Guwahati…Racism has no place in our country and we should all condemn it unequivocally,” the chief minister tweeted.

To clear the air around the “misunderstanding”, Juyal shared a video on his Instagram handle, clarifying that there is a “story” behind the clip, and he wanted to share the same for the sake of his "mental health" and the people who know him.

He said when children come on the dance reality show, they’re asked about their hobbies and when Gunjan was asked the same, she said her talent is to speak Chinese. “We used to laugh at the things children say. When we asked her (Gunjan) to speak Chinese, she started talking in gibberish. From there onwards, we would ask her to speak in ‘Chinese’ on every episode or ask her to speak in the language of another planet,” he added in the video.

The TV show host claimed that the introduction he gave to Gunjan in the final episodes of the programme was in line with the same gibberish Chinese she spoke. “You won’t call me racist if you’d see the whole show,” Juyal said.

The third season of ‘Dance Deewane’ concluded last month.

The host also said that he has family members in northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, and also has friends in Nagaland with whom he has “grown up in boarding school.”

“I’m someone who tries to show things politically correct and who takes a stand on injustice and racism. Instead, I often get trolled whenever I take a stand for a religion, caste, culture or creed,” he noted.

Juyal also apologised for his remark, saying that it was neither his nor Colors TV’s “motive that something like this happens.” However, he also urged people to “watch the whole show” before making a clip viral and passing judgements based on it.

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