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Bigg Boss going soft on Armaan Malik’s slap is a new low. Salman wouldn’t have let it slide

YouTuber Armaan Malik was given a free pass after he slapped Bigg Boss OTT-3 co-contestant Vishal Pandey. The reason: Pandey called Malik’s wife ‘beautiful’.

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Calling a married woman beautiful is no crime. But when it leads to a slap for the praise-giver, it becomes one. Violence isn't allowed in the house rules of Bigg Boss, but it seems Bigg Boss himself has forgotten the charter.

During the 8 July episode on OTT platform JioCinema Premium, a fight broke out between YouTuber Armaan Malik and influencer Vishal Pandey. And it culminated in Malik slapping Pandey.  This is against the house rules, which mandate eviction for any form of physical violence. But that did not happen this time. Perhaps because Bigg Boss has turned into a softie. Or is maybe just beholden to the real boss—TRP.

The incident started when Vishal, during a chat with his friend Lovekesh Kataria, remarked that he found Armaan Malik’s wife, Kritika, beautiful. On ‘Weekend Ka Vaar’, when told about this comment, Armaan slapped Vishal.

 Despite the clear violation, Bigg Boss and the show's new host, Anil Kapoor, left the decision of Armaan’s eviction to the contestants, who were unaware of Vishal’s conversation and not even showed the footage. They came to the consensus that it was only human for a husband to lose his cool if someone made questionable comments about his wife.

However, the actual ‘transgression’, which had been aired to viewers, was fairly tame. Vishal merely told Kataria, “Bhabhi sundar lagti hai, achhe way me bol raha hu” (I found Bhabhi beautiful, but I am saying this in a good way).

Physical violence, along with verbal abuse and fights, has become a norm in the Bigg Boss house, whether on OTT or TV. And Bigg Boss has been tight-lipped of late.

Sidharth Shukla, winner of Season 13 of the TV show, and second runner-up Asim Riaz were shown trading insults and having physical fights with one another. In Season 16, Archana Gautam was evicted after she grabbed Shiv Thakare by the neck during a fight, but was soon allowed to return. In season 17, Abhishek Kumar slapped Samarth Jurel after being provoked and was evicted, only to be brought back later.

These hijinks on national TV show that “ab Bigg Boss violence bhi chahte hai”. It seems to be not just tolerated but approved.


Also Read: Bigg Boss, stop normalising Armaan Malik’s cheating as polygamy. Forget morals, it’s illegal


Powerless hosts

It's not just Bigg Boss failing to show authority. Host Anil Kapoor too doesn’t care. I can only imagine how ‘Bhaijaan’ Salman Khan, the official host of the show in previous seasons, would have handled it. He had often dealt with such incidents decisively.

Watching Anil Kapoor’s casual approach to the slap means the show doesn't even need a host. Contestants can progress in Bigg Boss on their own and make it worse when what is needed is an outside voice of reason.

The latest incident reminds me of how Salman Khan dealt firmly with Archana Gautam and Shiv Thakare in Season 16 after their altercation. Salman even took on the role of an anger management trainer with the short-tempered Sidharth Shukla. He lay down on the floor to demonstrate to Shukla that he could just lie down when he felt angry to avoid a conflict. The logic was that it’s difficult to argue with someone when lying down on the floor.

It all made for pretty watchable TV and Salman’s ‘Weekend ka Vaar’ was entertaining even for those who did not regularly follow the show.


Also Read: I have seen Bigg Boss new episodes. The show has entered a new flop era


Bossing the Bigg Boss

After the slap went unchecked and the contestants supported Armaan Malik, calling his violence a special case, several ex-contestants supported Vishal on social media, including Gauhar Khan, Abhinav Shukla, Kushal Tandon, and Rajiv Adatia.

Kushal Tandon, a contestant from Season 7, slammed the show’s makers for not taking action against Malik. Tandon, who was eliminated from the show in 2013 for physical violence, wrote on X: “This is so weird, Bigg Boss OTT is going to dogs already. But seriously makers, is a slap allowed? And you are (not) allowed to call someone beautiful if she is married??”

Gauhar Khan also supported Vishal Pandey on Instagram, writing: “Toh kya married logon ko sundar bolna gunah hai?” (Is it a crime to call a married woman beautiful?)

With a powerless Bigg Boss and a host who doesn’t care, the show must not go on.

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