Every year there is one contestant in the Bigg Boss house who is loved by the audience and even the contestants. This year is no exception and Bigg Boss 16 has found that contestant in Abdu Rozik.
The 19-year-old Tajiki singer, actor, blogger and boxer is being loved by the audiences. Abdu Rozik is that one contestant in the Bigg Boss 16 house who is on friendly terms with everyone. Abdu doesn’t believe in playing mind games. He lets his warm personality shine through and that is what makes him stand out from the rest. However, as I was watching Bigg Boss 16, I could not help but be slightly annoyed at how almost all the contestants in the house treat him like a child.
Abdu Rozik was the first contestant to enter the Bigg Boss 16 house. There was an episode where Archana Gautam chased him around the house because she wanted to make him sit on her lap. If that wasn’t all, she even passed a snarky comment on his height. She said, “Yeh chota sa hai, kaise khelega?” (Translation: He’s short, how will he play?)
There was a time when Tina Datta grabbed Abdu and kissed his cheeks. Abdu clearly looked uncomfortable and he kept asking her not to do that but Tina went ahead and kissed him more than once. Before Tina could hug and kiss him again, Abdu left the place and said, “I am very fine. Thank you so much.”
There have been numerous instances where Tina and Priyanka Chahar Choudhary have addressed Abdu in a baby voice. Tina always calls him “sweet pea” or “darling”. Even when she’s playfully flirting with him, she makes it sound like she is talking to a toddler. In one of the episodes, an audience member pointed this out. Priyanka took Abdu aside and apologized to him.
Throughout the season, Abdu has repeatedly said he is not a child. He has told the contestants that he is an adult, a man. However, the contestants continue to pick him up and poke his cheeks as and when they please. Sadly they cannot look past his height.
In an interview with News18, Shefali Jariwala expressed her anger over how other contestants treat Abdu. She said, “I feel very angry when I see people hugging and kissing him and treating him like a child. Poor thing! I want to tell everyone to not look at him as a short person but as a human being. I believe he’s a 19-year-old. Would anyone of us like it if people keep pulling us, hugging us and carrying us around? I wouldn’t!” Jariwala was a contestant in Bigg Boss 13.
The conversations the contestants have with Abdu are also condescending. They crack inane jokes about his relationship, his wedding, his crushes, his view on the women contestants, and even ask him if he misses his “mommy”. In all honesty, it kind of reminds me of how older people poke and prod young teenagers to find out something about them. Even Sajid Khan who is often seen with Abdu has time and again referred to him as a “baccha” and has even questioned his game when it came to captaincy.
The way Abdu Rozik is treated is in sharp contrast with another contestant who is as old as Abdu. Sumbul Touqeer and Abdu are literally the same age but you can see the difference in how they are treated by everyone. You don’t see the contestants pulling Sumbul’s cheeks or picking her up like a plaything. Surprisingly, Abdu’s height has made contestants underestimate him. So much so that Sumbul had nominated him once for eviction (it’s a different story how she cried about her decision later on).
In some ways, the manner in which Abdu is treated by the contestants is reflective of how people treat those with disabilities. They cannot look past the difference and forget that the person is an individual in their own right.
If only the contestants had been sensitized, we might have witnessed Abdu receiving fair treatment.