Priya Malik brought up the issue of racism at more than one occasion in the Bigg Boss 9 house. So obviously when I spoke to her moments after she got evicted (check out the super fun interview here), I had to ask her to share her experience.
A lot of people think I’ve raised the issue of racism in Big Brother but actually I haven’t. No one was blatantly racist to me on the show. It was only when I came out, I faced racism on social media. I’m glad you asked me this because I wanted to clarify – this was never a point I raised in Big Brother. The point I had raised was a cultural difference point and it wasn’t a big issue. And there was a bullying incident. But coming back to my own country, this was the last place I thought someone could be racist to me. And directly ask me to go back to where I come from! When I had gone on the Australian Big Brother, I had expected it to happen, it didn’t. And when I came on Bigg Boss, I didn’t expect it to happen, but it did.
I think it was the unexpectedness of the matter that really got to me. And asking me where I come from without knowing that I actually come from Dehradun was just silly. What was I supposed to do? Shut up and take it? Because I can’t do that! Even if someone said that about Mandana, I’d stand up for her. At the end of the day, it’s a social experiment and if I don’t talk about the social issues that happened on the show, then I’m stupid. Some people think I’ve blown it out of proportion, but honestly, I would not have been able to look at myself in the mirror if I hadn’t. So glad I spoke my mind. I’d rather be hated for who I am than be loved for who I’m not.
Mandana was the last person I expected it from because she’s not from India and I thought she’d probably be the only person who’d understand how it feels when you’re not from someplace. I found that ironic coming from her. Even from Kanwaljeet, in fact, because he has faced homophobia in his life. So when you have been discriminated against, then how can you discriminate? Have you learnt nothing from your own experiences? So that was the most shocking to me!