An ‘viral’ exchange between a group of men and their Marathi domestic help has been going viral on social media has raised questions about the way society treats domestic workers.
Many on the internet have been left divided by the #JusticeForKaku hashtags that has been doing the rounds accompanied by stills and memes featuring an irritating woman haggling with some boys. Here’s the full story behind the woman and why laughing at the video is problematic.
What is #JusticeForKaku?
In the now-viral video, a group of boys who presumably share a flat are seen arguing with their domestic help - a woman - about payment of wages. The woman can be seen haggling and refusing to take the money as she thinks the tenants are paying her less than her due, which is Rs 18,000.
Soon, #JusticeForKaku started trending on social media with many making memes and photoshopped versions of the video and tweeting it under the viral hashtag.
Why is #JusticeForKaku trending?
The confusion seems to arise from the fact that the tenants gave the woman Rs 15,000 and Rs 300 separately - three currency notes of Rs 500, one of Rs 200 and one Rs 100 note were handed to the woman. Unable to do the math, the woman refuses to believe that the notes add up to Rs 18,000. Even after being told that 1500 added to 300 totals to 1,800, the woman is far from being convinced.
The video was shared on Twitter with the caption, “These guys paid their house help 1800 bucks but she’s saying they paid her 1500 and 300.” The clip has received over 25,000 views and more than 160 retweets.
Soon after the video went viral, jokes and memes began to circulate.
Is the video offensive?
What many didn’t realise was though the incident may be circumstantially humourous, laughing at an underprivileged woman’s lack of mathematical skills was nothing but making a mockery out of their incapabilities. The video and the reactions to it also represent the lack of humaneness and respect sections of Indian society show domestic workers, who are often represented in films and pop culture as humourous devices meant to comic relief which further helps dehumanize their identities (and dismiss their issues) in real life.
घरकाम करणाऱ्या एका महिलेचा व्हिडीयो सध्या सोशल मिडीयावर व्हायरल आहे. मेहनत करून घर चालवणाऱ्या या महिलांचा आपण सन्मान केला पाहिजे या महिला भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था आणि समाजव्यवस्थेचा कणा आहेत. हिशोबात चूक होणं, हा थट्टेचा विषय होऊ नये. pic.twitter.com/IiMejTycs9— Adv. Yashomati Thakur (@AdvYashomatiINC) August 31, 2020
Soon, some such as the Maharashtra Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Yashomati Thakur tweeted that the viral jokes and memes were indeed offensive. The minister also pointed out the financial literacy of women in was still a crucial area in which the Maharashtra government was working on.