MUMBAI: Bonafide Bihari Neetu Chandra has emerged as a flagbearer for the Biharis and the stereotypes levelled against them. After writing a strong letter, criticising filmmakers of 'Udta Punjab' for showing Biharis in poor light, the actress has now emphasized on the need for the Biharis to unite. The ‘Garam Masala’ actress known for her unapologetic statements has raised some serious anguish over the trend of ripping apart cultural aesthetics of any state or community.
In an interview, Neetu said, "Bihar is represented by people who have seen the state by their ears and not by their eyes. Bihar trashing does not happen just in Bollywood, but many regional films too don't think twice before making fun of Biharis. People often ask me - where do you get this style from? Do you know how to speak in English? And I am just left wondering what is wrong with these people. Take any UPSC exam, Biharis are always among the toppers. They always acquire higher administrative positions. My brothers are IPS officers. But people just consider the working labour class from Bihar as Biharis. It saddens me to see this."
“For example, let’s take a look at the road rage case involving Rocky Yadav. Is this the first time something like this has happened? I am not defending his action, whatever he did was wrong. But people need to understand that this is happening everywhere. Remember Nirbhaya case, or the recent Jisha murder case? It’s happening everywhere, why call just Bihar as ‘gundaraj’? Politicians are taking bribe everywhere, crimes are happening everywhere – why do we only see and remember Bihar in a negative light,” she further questioned.
“But all this would not stop until and unless Biharis take a stand for themselves. I have seen people from Bihar, when they go somewhere out they just say they are from some metro city. They feel embarrassed saying they belong to Bihar. Have you ever seen Bengalis talk in any other language except Bengali when they are together? Have you ever seen Punjabis converse in Hindi or English when they are together? No. They prefer their language. They feel proud of their culture, tradition and language. But we ourselves look down upon our culture and roots. A lot of this is also because of the kind of films that are made in our industry. There’s not a single Bhojpuri film which you can sit with your family and watch. It’s a sleaze fest there. And mind you, the makers of these films are not from Bihar. They come from other states, invest money to produce films which rips apart our culture and leaves us with a bad name. I wonder if the so called Bihari superstars have ever seen or realised what they make. The image of Bihar and it’s people would not change until we, Biharis, stand together and be proud of ourselves. Respect our culture and heritage. Learn to love our roots. As I have always said – it takes one to dirty the pond but many to clean it up,” she concluded.