Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah: Why the show is problematic
The daily is one of the longest-running television shows in India’s history
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma aires on Sony SabTV
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is one of the longest-running television shows in India. The comedy-drama is centered in a colony in Mumbai, which calls itself ‘mini-India’ as it houses people from across the country. Though the show has garnered massive popularity over the years, there are many issues that make it problematic, such as colourism, sexism and body shaming. Let’s take a deeper look at these issues.
Racist remarks toward Iyer
Krishnan Iyer (Tanush Mahashabde) and Babita are poked fun at, mostly since Iyer is dark-skinned and Babita is fair-skinned. Jethalal constantly makes racist remarks at Iyer, promoting colourism.
The show stereotypes characters based on their genders. The male gang always meets at Abdul’s (Sharad Sankla) shop to discuss work-related things, while the mahila mandal is often portrayed indulging in shopping, kitty parties and gossiping.
Jethalal’s obsession with Babita
Dilip Joshi plays Jethalal, a married Gujarati businessman, who is enamoured by his neighbour, Babita Iyer (Munmun Dutta). The manner in which this is portrayed is problematic, as there is a subtle glorification of this obsession, which is passed off as good humour. Not once is Jethalal’s intentions and his stalking of Babita questioned.
Body shaming of the Hathi family
Just like the Iyer family is ridiculed for their skin colour, the Hathi family is shamed for being overweight. The ‘Hathi’ surname itself is demeaning and is used to mock Dr Hansraj (Kavi Kumar Azad) and Komal (Ambika Rajankar). Their son, Goli (Kush Shah) is also made fun of by his friends due to his weight.
While the show attempts to represent the entire country, it stereotypes characters based on the mainstream notion of what those characters sound and look like. Iyer is from South India, so he is shown to be dark-skinned. The Gadas are a Gujarati family, and are shown as being overly enthusiastic about Garba. Similarly, being a Punjabi-Sikh man, Roshan Singh Sodi (Gurucharan Singh) does Bhangra everywhere.
Last Updated: 12.09 PM, Oct 24, 2022