Promo video of new Colours TV ridicules people with disabilities, rights groups threaten action
A promo for an upcoming Hindi serial on Colours TV has drawn angry and outraged reactions from many disability groups for ridiculing people with vision impairments and leprosy. The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled plans to file a formal police complaint against the channel under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.
Raja Rani ki Jodi, yu samjiye ki yek aandha aur kodi ki Jodi. Words from the promotional video of Shubharamb, a new Hindi serial on Colours TV that will start on 2 December, 2019. The terms ‘aandha’ (blind) and kodi (leper) used are derogatory references and have justifiably attracted the anger of various disability rights groups.
By using such terms, producer Shashi Sumeet and director Ashutosh Gowariker are reinforcing attitudes that are negative and disrespectful towards people with disabilities and reinforce stigma, says the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD)
Over the years, due to constant campaign and awareness created by organisations and persons with disabilities themselves, there has been a slight shift and a positive portrayal is being witnessed. Serials like these will only contribute to a reversal. – Muralidharan, General Secretary, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled
Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the word kodi is banned and the NPRD plans to file a formal police complaint invoking provisions of the Act.
“We will also be approaching the concerned channel as also the Ministry. Such negative depiction of disabled persons needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms”, added Muralidharan.
Nikita Sarah, Advocacy & Communication Head, The Leprosy Mission, India also believes that it is high time the community came together to address this kind of insensitivity displayed by the entertainment industry.
“Yet again a production house has used discriminatory words without bothering how the community will feel and this only shows lack of sensitivity and ignorance. Time for us to come together to sensitise these writers and production houses who write without understating how this can reinforce stigma”.
Watch the promo here.