What happened to Silpa is a shame to all Indians. We are often treated down and discriminated in other countries. But, before we point fingers at others, what have we done to fix the problem? First thing is the remarks to silpa come from an individual, not an organisation or a company or an authority. It only exposes the narrowmindedness and stupidity of one person. So why should we give any importance to that? Arent there many people who think wierd, unlogical and criminal? It is just a matter of tolerance. And what are we doing to make these more tolerant? Are we adapting ourselves to new situations, new environments? Are we making enough effort to understand the ppl we live with and their culture? Are we perfect back home? Dont we do any discrimination here? Caste, religion.....are we tolerant within? As the article points out, its so funny the kind of inferiority feeling some North Indians have for the South Indians. I was so surprised to come across few north indians who inspite of being Indian and studying in India do not know which south indian language belongs to which state....and who are least bothered to know. They just categorise them as 'some south Indian') Do we need to categorise ourselves as South Indian- North Indian, on religion, on castes? Do we do enough to fight racism in education, employment and other places of opportunity? Media should play responsible role on focussing on the right things rather than forcing repeated, unwanted, ill focussed news. I think the whole incident has brought down the over all image of India, thanks to media!
THis is the face of India what Shilpa Shetty has displayed. Digusting Isn't it? They hit us on one side of the face and we give them another side to slap once more. How rubbish she can prove herself. After so much humiliation also she wants to save her position for pounds and not for the self respect and COuntry's pride. She should have walked off very first time it happened. Shame that racism is visible only thru these celebrities and not thru the Asian community that suffer in UK. No media came forward when s sikh teenager was insulted and stripped off his turban 2-3 months back in UK. Do we care yes we do care for Shilpa Shetty isn't it.
I believe that I am %u2018civilised%u2019 enough to write this article. The timing just couldn%u2019t be any better than this. After watching the %u2018Celebrity Big brother%u2019 reality show on Channel4, reading articles and blogs in the British and world media, I believe that it is time for all to do some serious thinking. I feel that the western society must come into terms of what%u2019s is actually happening within their so called tolerant society. It is very easy to make an excuse that the reality show is after all a television programme and shouldn%u2019t be taken into account. This show has been viewed all over the world and discussed by the public and media. Sadly, more than 2.3 million kids do watch and follow this reality show. Don%u2019t the housemates know about it? Doesn%u2019t it reveal some reality? In the show, housemates Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd, Jo O%u2019Meara have had %u2018ganged up%u2019 against fellow housemate Shilpa Shetty and made fun of her English accent, nationality, ethnicity, were not prepared to call her by name, were reluctant to eat the roast chicken cooked by her, described her a %u201CPaki%u201D, the disgraced Miss Great Britain Danielle Lloyd even called her a 'Dog', used %u2018very filthy%u2019 language repeatedly, and even asked her to %u2018Go back to the slums and find out what real life is%u2019. If this is not racially motivated abuse, please define what is %u2018racism%u2019? If you say %u2018Oh..No..all this is nothing but just bullying%u2019, go and watch the recorded show in YouTube.com and come back to read this article. Some can argue and dispute that all these were the result of total ignorance, stupidity and playground type bullying. Grow up!! Bullying and racism are not two difference things. They are indeed same wine in two different bottles!! All civilised people wouldn%u2019t disagree to my point.
Understandably, the feelings and emotions are now running high on all corners. The British media regulator ofCom and Channel4, which broadcast the show, had received more than 55,000 complaints from the public in just four days!! This issue heads in all local newspapers, news websites, blogs and posts. Tony Blair was forced to comment on this row. The next British prime minister-in-waiting Mr.Gordon Brown is having tough time in India!! I believe that Indian Prime Minister Mr.Manmohan Singh and Indian President Mr.Abdul Kalam are the only people left to comment on this issue!!!
I live in the United Kingdom, so I would like to see the whole issue in two mirrors. I honestly respect all %u2018Non-Racist British%u2019 in Britain. I am fortunate enough to have few of them as my friends, who understand that the colour of our blood is always going to be red but the colour of our skin is unfortunately not. (We blame it on God%u2019s politics!)
I am not surprised at all on this wildfire racial row. The three Big Brother gang girls are drop of the today%u2019s British society and surely reflect the growing new generation of future Britain. The Big Brother house is actually a small portrait of today%u2019s modern Britain. Don%u2019t mistake me? In a large portrait, this is how the great British society will exactly look like in next 50 years time. I mark my words with a second thought. The abuse and racial comments on Shilpa do 1,000% truly reflect the British and European societies attitude on racism especially on all non-whites. Everyone in the western world must know that racism in all forms and size still does exist in the society. Many who receive everyday racism, usually tend to ignore rather than challenge it out. That doesn%u2019t mean they accept it at heart. It%u2019s a very serious problem. For all those who are not Black, Asian or Chinese, it is not easy to realise how serious racism can be. Asians living and working in Britain such as students, doctors, nurses, solicitors, taxi drivers, teachers, corner shop owners, restaurant waiters, call centre personnel and even community police officers, who often go through more or less the same kind of racially motivated verbal abuse. I swear on my words. I am not exaggerating it. I had gone through the same sort of abuse before and still go through it now and then. I have been called %u2018Indian%u2019 on many occasions in a tone, which is definitely not polite and friendly way that anyone would like to be called upon. I don%u2019t call any non-Asian like that. I will have to digest it without any choice. Once, I have made enough money to live without having to work for rest of my life, I will fly back to India for good from this arrogant, ignorant, economically, ethically and culturally failing western society.
Even the Asians who were born and brought up in Britain are being classified as %u2018British Indian%u2019, %u2018British Sikh%u2019, %u2018British Pakistani%u2019 and %u2018British Muslim%u2019. This is how they are tagged in government forms and documents. How sick these race tags are? Aren%u2019t they British enough to be %u2018British%u2019? This is surely leaving negative impact on the minorities. They think that how much ever British they are, they will always remain as minorities. This is pure racial dejection. Then, what is the point of talking about racial integration? The sad thing is that nobody seems to care about it including the British government. The same British government does celebrate Diwali and Ed festivals!!! Surprised? I am. I personally think that the British government itself very confused about their racial policies or they are playing very tricky double game. This is clearly sending the wrong message. That%u2019s why many think it is OK to racially abuse anybody from the minority community. The result is what exactly world had witnessed in Jade-Shilpa race row. It is time for the British government to wake up.
The reality show indeed reflects the reality of British youth%u2019s attitude towards their society and living. I am not surprised to hear that abusive language on reality show. Certainly you could hear them from groups of young boys and girls on British streets. Well%u2026What else would you expect from boys and girls of today%u2019s British society, where 13 years old lads and girls smoke, drink and use drugs, losing virginity at the age of 14 is just a matter of self-pride, having babies at the age of 15 is OK and becoming common, the average life span of a formal marriage is just over 16 months, many live together unmarried, many don%u2019t know who is their mother or father is and the divorce rate is 40% higher than any European union country. There are various reasons for this social scenario. Today%u2019s young British are not well educated, they distance themselves from Maths, Science, and general knowledge subjects, they are very proud of binge drinking, smoking, sex on the streets and desperate housewives culture (a Popular TV serial), honking the car horns and yelling racist remarks. They are ignorant souls and sadly the face of future British society. Who is going to teach them about racial tolerance and respecting people as humans? Their stupid British prime minister is very busy in saying %u2018YES%u2019 five billion times a day to the arrogant American president on bringing back democracy and peace in Iraq and Afghanistan!!! In this nation, some think that waging war on a country is just like playing a video game in play station. It is OK to think like that in this so called developed country with underdeveloped people. Many British do have big attitude disorder and do think that the rest of the world is still ruled by their great grand fathers & company. They still do believe that the Sun will never ever set on their kingdom. What else I can say? The British public is not aware of what is happening within their country and in rest of the world. They don%u2019t have the urge to learn new skills, acquire knowledge, and stay competitive. They probably don%u2019t want to know about globalisation as long as they can afford to buy fish & chips and pukha pies. All they know is to eat, to do binge drinking in 24 hour pubs (Yes. 24 hour pubs!!), to be illiterate (I bet many can%u2019t read and write English properly) and claim free government benefits to go on holiday abroad.
I could sense their fear of failure in the very near future. Today%u2019s Britain is steadily losing its ground on cultural, economical and social front. The British are losing their obsessed identity in today%u2019s multicultural Britain. The British public and politicians do think that the non-Europeans are culturally and economically invading all corners of Britain. That%u2019s why there is soo much visa restrictions, delay in issuing visas, and recent %u2018motivated%u2019 HSMP revision to keep the %u2018Indians%u2019, %u2018Paki%u2019 and %u2018Browns%u2019 away from British shores. They are getting jealous of dominant Asian minority. There are various reasons behind it. Let me explain. Today%u2019s great British politics, lifestyle, business, economy and national cuisine (Chicken Tikka Masala is the national dish of Britain since 2000!) are being greatly influenced by the Asians. A very remarkable feat that the Scottish, Irish and Welsh trio couldn%u2019t able to do for several centuries and had totally failed. In general, the British are not sensitive to accept and easily adapt other cultures into their lives. Whereas, Asians are far more broadminded, tolerant, patient when it comes to living in multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society such as Britain. Though Asians didn%u2019t integrate 100% into the British society, I would say they are well on their way towards it or realising the necessity to do it. Also, majority of the Asians are college educated, intelligent, beautiful in heart, hard working and above all economically prospering than ever before. If the first wave of Asian migrants helped to revive the shops on Britain's streets, the second and third generation of Asians are now making their mark on the financial and business world. Now, India is the third largest investor in Britain next only to US and Japan. Indian companies are taking over many not-so-profitable British companies and turning them into profitable. Thus, creating jobs for the British. Remember richest citizen of United Kingdom is not a native British but India born Steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal. He has pledged £2 million pounds to the cash-strapped ruling Labour party, almost certainly bailing it out of financial crisis. There is a list of endless contributions made by the Asians to today%u2019s modern Britain. It is just impossible to blindly ignore the imposing stature of Asians and Asianism in Britain. Without Asians, the British public services and healthcare will crumble in matter of days. Without Asians, the British economy will not survive for more than a month. So, I am prepared to put a bet that before the end of this 21st century, Britain will have an Asian Prime Minister. I am not joking.
On the other side, this whole issue raises the same questions about our own society. Are we Indians really not racists? Is it OK and justified to racially discriminate fellow Indians? But, it becomes an issue when Non-Asians dish it out on us? We actually don%u2019t respect fellow Indians in India and abroad. Don%u2019t we? We have got several racial problems within our country and society. Don%u2019t we all know that North Indians bully and discriminate the South Indians as %u2018Madarasis%u2019. South Indians bully the North Indians by calling them as %u2018Biharis%u2019. We are the largest racist society on this earth, which practised and still practising all forms of racism, discrimination and bullying in the name of god, caste and culture. We are talking about it for more than 100 years. Nothing has been changed significantly. When are we going to change it?
One of India's strengths is its ability to accept and adapt diversity of culture. That%u2019s what India is all about. It is indeed a very quite remarkable for a country like India, where the majority of the population is Hindu. But, our current president is a Muslim, the prime minister is a Sikh and probably the most influential lady in India is sari wearing Italian born Catholic. I cannot think of any other country in the world that could accept such a diversified political scenario. This is truly remarkable and it works very well in India. Whereas, in the US, the Americans still waiting to have a Black or Hispanic as American president and the US has been a democratic country for more than 200 years. Whereas India%u2019s democracy gained it%u2019s status just 60 years ago. We have already had several minorities as presidents, prime ministers, chief ministers, ministers, military chief of staff, and Supreme Court judges. This is the great strength that India has. We are humans first, then Indians, then Punjabi, Gujarathi, Bengali, or Madarasi. Forget about race, religion and skin colour. So, It is time for us to do some reality test on ourselves. It is time for us to accept that we are really racists and do something about it. When we are going to announce that racism and discrimination in any form, any size is a punishable crime and has no place in civilised India? We can. Let us do it now before it is too late.
Our world will become a happy place to live when we love each other in heart and without discriminating anyone by their race, ethnicity, religion, faith, and wealth. Let's grow up. When we are going to be one big loud and proud Indians? It is shame on us if we can%u2019t do it. Share your views.
RE:THE PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
by Friends Computer Consultancy on Feb 01, 2007 06:40 PM
how come Mr Uma Shankar Satyha kumar take out so much time in this time to write in so brief. If at all he is free, how come rediff has published his sooooo loooooong letter. One should be very brief in expression.
by Ipsita Roy on Jan 22, 2007 07:15 AM
Indians live in west coast of USA will not agree with you. We are recognized by Americans as "the well educated intellectuals". UK might be different. So please don't make generalized statement.
A show like big brother is likely to have such comments.. And I as a Indian would appreciate if Shilpa gives back all the money that she has earned thru big brother and throw it right on their face and turn back to india as a pride woman
It's obvious Shilpa agreed to do this show to make herself more marketable to the westerners and BigBrother executives wanted Shilpa in to widen their audience and that's exactly what they achieved out of this racism hoopla. Shilpa is a big girl and i'm sure she can deal with what she got herself in to.. So let's stop all this talk about racism and get on with life :)
by Manick Iyyadurai on Jan 21, 2007 11:16 PM
I agree with you somewhat, but not as far as to say all caucasians are racists. I've had the oppurtinity to get to know some very good caucasians, who don't fit the racist tag.
by Vaibhav Kumar on Jan 22, 2007 05:58 PM
No dear. By saying something like that, YOU are being THE racist. Please open your eyes. What you are saying is out of mere ignorance. I am an Indian living in Australia, and what you are saying is a ruthless and ignorant statement. Please do not point fingers at others without looking at yourself first!
by Manick Iyyadurai on Jan 23, 2007 05:19 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by finger pointing? Don't you agree that Shilpa and Channel4 agreed to do this for mutual benefit ? I'm not saying that means she has to take the insult, all i'm saying is that this doesn't have to be a national debate. I'm indian living in US for several years now and except some ticky-tacky incidents, i haven't really seen any racism. I've heard some nasty things about living in australia, may be you can add to this.