Actor Randeep Hooda was at the centre of a growing social media storm on Wednesday over a nine-year video in which he's seen making derogatory comments against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
Amid social media backlash, Randeep took to Instagram and shared a cryptic post featuring a picture of a tiger clicked by him.
He captioned it using a quote by Sherkhan from “Jungle Book”, stating, “No matter how fast you run, no matter where you hide, I will catch you.”
The 43-second clip from an event organised by a media house in 2012 resurfaced when a Twitter user shared it.
Hooda cracks a joke, being castigated as casteist and sexist, and is seen laughing along with the audience.
Nine years later, Twitterati and others were not amused, and were furious at the "Radhe" actor's comments against a powerful woman leader and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
"If this does not explain how casteist and sexist this society is, especially towards Dalit women, I don't know what will. the 'joke', the audacity, the crowd. Randeep Hooda, top Bollywood actor talking about a Dalit woman, who has been the voice of the oppressed (sic)," read the tweet of the user who first shared the said video.
CPI-ML Politburo leader Kavita Krishnan also weighed in on the video, describing Hooda's comments as a "casteist, misogynist".
"'Not a 'joke' @RandeepHooda. You are doing what casteist, misogynist, insecure turds do when confronted with women whose strength they fear: attack the woman as unattractive," Krishnan wrote on the microblogging site.
The video has attracted hundreds of comments on the social media with many criticising and asking the actor to apologise.
Another user said she was "appalled" after watching the clip.
And another described his joke as in "very poor taste".
"He wasn't a teenager when he cracked it. Then only acceptable way to move forward is an unconditional apology without any explanation and gaslighting. Anything less is a waste of time," he tweeted.
Recently, actors Yuvika Chaudhary and Munmun Dutta received flak on social media for using casteist slurs in their videos. Dutta was also booked by police in Hansi, Haryana and Indore, Madhya Pradesh for the same.
With PTI inputs