Nikhil Chinapa defends Neha Dhupia’s Roadies comments, says ‘Why stop at slap? Why not hit her till she’s black and blue?’

Nikhil Chinapa has defended Roadies co-mentor Neha Dhupia’s controversial remarks in a four-point statement. Read here.
Nikhil Chinapa and Neha Dhupia pose with their Roadies co-mentors.
Nikhil Chinapa and Neha Dhupia pose with their Roadies co-mentors.
Updated on Mar 23, 2020 09:00 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent

Roadies mentor Nikhil Chinapa has posted a lengthy statement about the controversial remarks made by his co-mentor on the show, actor Neha Dhupia, regarding cheating and violence. Nikhil had earlier commented on the issue on Twitter, but had deleted the tweets to focus on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But on Sunday, Nikhil took to Instagram and wrote, “Now that I’m home and I’ve got a little more time on my hands, I’ve put down my perspective surrounding the events of an episode that aired a few weeks ago. I’ve muted comments here so that those that are concerned with the contents of the note may read it at ease. For those wishing to comment / let off some steam, comments are open on my previous posts, as they’ve always been.”

 

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Here’s his full statement:

“There are far greater things concerning the world right now but since this seems to be on a few people’s minds, let me address it and get it out of the way. To all the trolls who’ve taken the time to abuse me, I don’t hate you. I really don’t. I do hope the universe is kind to you and you find joy in your lives, but this post isn’t for you - it’s for a wider, quieter set who might be wondering about what was said and why.

There were (mainly) three issues, that people have responded to - and a fourth, which I’d like to raise.

1. Me saying, “Who are you to expect loyalty?” It’s human nature to get into a relationship and expect that the other person will be loyal to you. It’s what humans do - we expect - that’s genetically how we’re designed. We crave the approval of people we love and look up to, like our parents, for example. Or our partners. However, loyalty isn’t demanded (it’s not a contract), I believe loyalty is EARNED. You earn love and loyalty in a relationship by being a good, compassionate person yourself. If you still don’t get it, you have every right to break up, move on and get on with your life.

However you never, EVER get the right to physically hit a person because they hurt your feelings. Hitting someone you’re in a relationship with, is the basic definition of domestic abuse. People fall in love and break up all the time and invariably, at least one person gets hurt in the process. Does that mean that every single breakup should end with someone getting assaulted? “But how can she play with his feelings’; is not an excuse for domestic violence. Not now, not ever. More on this later in this note.

2. Neha saying, “That’s her choice:’ None of us, not I, nor anyone on the show has ever said cheating is okay - it’s not. We know cheating causes enormous pain to the victims and I am unequivocally saying it again - it’s wrong. However, being cheated on, STILL doesn’t give you the right to hit someone - and that’s the crux of the point being made, NOT that cheating is okay. What’s worse in this case, is that this guy thinks he was in the right and is unrepentant about slapping her. (I have to say his claim about “lining up the 5 boys and her” seems a bit far-fetched and makes me wonder how much of the story is actually true).

He then goes on to claim, “she thanked me 2 years later for hitting her and for ‘saving her life- and that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! He believes he’s a hero, he believes he was right and for everyone standing up for him, please take a good look inside yourself and see if you’re the kind of person who’d be okay with assaulting your partner, if you’d been cheated on.

3. Me using the word “Motherf**ker” - In anger at the blatant misogyny, I used that word. Am I proud of it? No. Did I actually abuse his mother? No I didn’t. The word is an expletive (look it up please) - not an insult. Every time you use the words Bh and M in casual conversation. are you actually meaning to insult someone’s sister or mother? Of course not. In any event, the literal translation of the expletive is directed towards the man and not the mother / sister. Yes these words need to leave our lexicon altogether, and I hope someday they do. I will start making the effort to remove them from my vocabulary.

Equally importantly, could I have expressed the same thoughts without using expletives? Yes, perhaps I could - but I’m not an expletive-free person in real life and I’m not acting on the show. As a person, I am profane at times and in this boy’s case, I’m not going to be apologetic - and let me now explain why, with the point I’d like to raise.

4. The term “Women’s Empowerment” - which apparently, is this boy’s self-stated, personal revolution. Many of you who spout this phrase have no idea what it really means. Women’s empowerment isn’t only about teaching girls self-defense, nor is it only about applauding women in sports, women who are doctors, pilots or army officers. It’s about letting women live their lives and make their own choices - and this is the really important part, so please pay attention - EVEN IF THOSE CHOICES ARE WRONG, in your eyes.

Please understand this, men who slap women while saying, “I want to empower women” belong to the toxic underbelly of humanity and lend to the all-pervasive culture of gender-based violence that exists in our society. They put themselves in a position of power and superiority over women because that’s all they’ve ever seen or learnt. They believe that as all-powerful men, they will uplift poor downtrodden women because without their generous empowerment, women won’t be able to survive.

Can you see how wrong that is on an intrinsic level? As men, we need to enable, not empower women. We need to step back, giving women the space to choose their own destinies and make their own life choices. Not hover over them, keeping them in our shadow, under the excuse of “protecting” them. That’s not protection - that’s possession. That’s patriarchy trying to own women, their lives and govern their choices. It amounts to treating women as objects who can’t exist without man’s generous “empowerment’:

That boy on the show believes he was the best thing to happen to the girl he slapped - that his love was the best love and he was the best possible boyfriend in the world ... and hat because he loved her, he owned her life, her love and her body. Because he loved her, it was his right to demand loyalty from her. He believed that because she was disloyal, it’s his right... no, his DUTY to slap her.

Tell me dear reader, if you’re okay with that, why stop with a slap? Why not a thrashing? Why not hit her till she’s black and blue? Where exactly will you draw the line, when it comes to being violent with a woman? That boy still continues to believe he’s HELPED this girl because without that slap, she would have ruined her life with these so-called “5 boys’: In his twisted version of “women’s empowerment”, was slapping the only recourse he had to “helping” this girl -or could he have tried talking to her ... was breaking up and walking away an option he could’ve exercised?

Some of you are probably thinking, “Kya bol raha hai to Nikhil? Jab baat ego pe aati hai, to thappad mare bina kaise chalege?” Hai na? The truth is, if this incident really did happen, he hit her because his massive but fragile male ego was hurt. He couldn’t believe this girl could give up the “perfect” man that he was. He couldn’t digest the fact that there were probably other men out there who were better or more suited to her. Or that she wasn’t as besotted by him as he had presumed she was.

Reality check boys, strong women don’t need you to empower them. Women are fine, they’ll manage - they don’t need to be guided by you, or need their hands held in your sanctimonious. sweaty, patriarchal palms. They do however need to feel the same freedom to live their lives by the choices they make - the kind that all boys automatically assume, is their birthright. This is not to take away from the fine work many organisations are doing to address gender equality and gender bias in the world. On an individual level though, we really need to understand what this word empowerment means.

Women certainly don’t need to be slapped or subjected to physical abuse for having boyfriends or for any transgressions they might make. Yes, cheating is wrong - whether done by a boy or a girl - but cheating is not an open license for violence. If you think it is, please try and imagine what levels this violence reaches and where it starts. It starts with slaps like these, which are overlooked or condoned or worse, egged on.

Whatever the scenario - hitting someone is not okay. It’s something I should have raised when the girl last year said she hit 4 boys who spoke against her family and her brother. I didn’t then, but I’m saying it now - hitting anyone is NOT okay. There have also been transgressions in the past that were questionable and avoidable. Mistakes were made or allowed and in every case, violence was not the answer and was wrong.

To everyone making memes. You guys are stars - I’ve found many of them to be really funny - especially Chinupa, Pullupa, Pushupa and Situpa. Keep up the good work. To everyone abusing me, you do realize I don’t read comments on my posts, right?

Lets get back to what’s important now. Sanitize, wear your mask, self-isolate (please don’t be irresponsible when it comes to this) and keep your loved ones and yourselves safe. I hope we all get through this okay and we can get back to our normal lives, memes and social media skirmishes really soon.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Nikhil Chinapa.”

Earlier, Neha in her own statement had written, “What the girl did is a choice she made which is a moral choice regardless of someone, man or woman... adultery is a moral choice. Cheating is not something I stand for, and it is unfortunate that I have been misrepresented for the same... but what I do stand for is women’s safety.”

Also read: Neha Dhupia addresses Roadies controversy after ‘weeks of vitriol’: ‘My dad’s WhatsApp is flooded with abuses’

After Neha was attacked online for her comments, several Bollywood celebrities, including Sonam Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Malaika Arora, Arjun Kapoor and Taapsee Pannu, came out in her support and emphasised that targeting her friends and family members was absolutely unacceptable.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021