Diljit Dosanjh, Neeti Mohan and Shankar Mahadevan condemned for sexist prank on Rising Stars sets

Updated on Mar 25, 2019 03:01 PM IST

A contestant called Neeti Mohan ‘kadak’ and raapchik’ on Rising Star sets. The singer threatened to walk out, only to laugh later and declare it was all a joke.

Neeti Mohan at the Rising Star auditions.
Neeti Mohan at the Rising Star auditions.
Hindustan Times,New Delhi | By

Singer Neeti Mohan, musician Shankar Mahadevan and singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh are facing a backlash on social media after they pulled off a sexist prank on the sets of Rising Star where the trio features as judges.Gender activist Kirthi Ajay Kumar wrote a series of tweets condemning such activities and several other celebs, including Chinmayi Sirpada joined her in condemning the actions.

Two contestants, Kunal and Shikhar, began praising Neeti during the auditions. One of them said Neeti was looking “kadak and raapchik” in a red sari. Reacting to the statement, Neeti said she’s ‘representing women’ on the sets and such derogatory language must not be used against any woman on the show.

Diljit Dosanjh, Neeti Mohan and Shankar Mahadevan on the sets of Rising Stars.
Diljit Dosanjh, Neeti Mohan and Shankar Mahadevan on the sets of Rising Stars.

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Neeti said, “I am representing all the girls here and I don’t allow this. No one can talk to me, or any girl like this in this country or any country. We three judges don’t approve this, the show doesn’t approve this, the channel doesn’t approve this way of talking.” She then stood up to walk away from the sets when Diljit intervened and asked the organisers to call the contestants later for auditions. Shankar Mahadevan, too, criticised the duo. However, it all fell apart soon when the three judges began laughing and said they were joking.

Later, Shankar also revealed the entire ‘prank’ was originally the contestant's idea.

You can watch the incident here

Twitter was soon flooded with messages condemning the trio for allowing such trivialisation of an important issue. Krithi tweeted, “Absolutely appalled at how @neetimohan18, @diljitdosanjh, @Shankar_Live and the rest of the crew literally threw the #MeToo movement under the bus on @ColorsTV. Speaking up about sexual harassment is not easy, and here you’re all belittling it as “mazaak”. Terrible that @neetimohan18 says that she represents all girls on the stage, and then threatens to walk out in response to what is clearly inappropriate and verbal sexual harassment, and then proceeds to laugh at how it is all a prank. Seriously, sexual harassment is not a joke.And now @diljitdosanjh apologized to them!! @Shankar_Live says it was a prank by one contestant on another. Thanks to how casually you all treat an issue so serious, there is ZERO accountability in this industry for sexual harassment.”

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 Neither of the judges have responded to the backlash yet.

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