Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cry Baby & Supporters

A bollywood actress whose career is on the decline decides to prop it up. Instead of working hard/harder, she decides to take the relative short cut. She decides to contest in a reality show hosted in the UK that is now cloned in India. The actress in question, Ms. Shilpa Shetty, the show in question, Big Brother and the clone show in India, Bigg Boss.

When Shilpa made it into the show, currently in its 5th season in UK, and this hit our papers here, it did take me by surprise. I thought, if its a true reality show, she won't last a week! The only reality show I have ever followed was Survivor-I and that show was quite cut-throat. It takes a different kind of skill and resolve to last it out and our dainty lady just didn't seem to have what it takes. True to form, Ms. Shetty was splashed all across the media and also made it to the front page of the papers today weeping and whining.

She is supposed to have been racially abused in the show and called a "dog" and "the indian". She was also called fake, a liar and pathetic by another contestant. This is most expected from contestants who stand to gain a lot of money if they last it out. Why should they be nice or real or anything else to her? She should have known this before she got into it. Everything comes at a price, and her price for the fame she expected was this kind of harassment or humiliation she faced.

There is a definite racial undertone in many places in the US (personal experience) and I have heard the same from friends about UK and Australia. What happened didn't surprise me one bit, but the hypocritical reaction by many in India(not UK) is what is really surprising. Is racial abuse alien to Indians? What about when we call people TamBrams(Tamil Brahmins) or Ghaatis or Kallus(blacks) or Firangs(whites), aren't these racist abuses in the same vein? The reason why such remarks as seen on Big Brother cause an uproar in countries like US or UK are understood, coz there is a constant government and social initiation or maybe compulsion to discourage these kind of remarks. But in India, there is a lot hidden agreement to all these kind of statements. In many cases, these are not considered racist even and hence go unnoticed, but that doesn't mean these are not racist.

Who are we to call anyone racists??

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