Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shilpa Shetty and Racism of Convenience

Here's my take on the Shilpa Shetty-Channel 4-Jade (whatever) controversy.

For one Shilpa knew very well what she was into, so the tears were, well, crocodile tears, bolstered nevertheless by a fat fee, fame, recognition around the world, etc. Come on, we know you gained a lot from this trip, Shilpa, but racism?

Well where is the racism in calling Shilpa an Indian? Indian, as a term is not a racist, nor is the description of the Indian custom of washing one's arse. Jade is not a Caucasian racially, she is mixed blood.  So where does racism come in? Racial slurs are flung in England and mentioning that so-and-so is Indian is not one among them. I know of more vitriolic racial terms of endearment, if you really want to know.

Now, as Shobha De says, there are worse cases of racism in our own backdoors. Do you know Shilpa that in your own so-called industry, dark-skinned dancers are not preferred in item number sequences that you yourself have danced? What did you do about them? Shed tears?

Just calling Shilpa Indian is like calling me Malayali or Mallu. But the difference is that Shilpa was in a high-viewership show with millions watching.

Do you know Shilpa that there is a show on MTV called "Lola Kutty" which every week, days without end, makes fun of us Malayalis, our accent, our clothes, our color, our personalities, our habits, our food, our very existence? What has all those people who burned flags of England and denounced racism against you in the press done about it? Nothing.

So when you attempt at world-wide recognition and want to get ahead in the elimination rounds you cry foul and allege racism? Let me see what you are going to do about racism of the garden variety in your own back door, ie, Bollywood. Donate your fat fee to the dancers who do not find work because they are dark-skinned?

Any publicity is good publicity and get it all where you can, right? For you racism is just an epithet, a catch phrase with which to give away your sound bites. We know that you will come back and sit cosily upon your millions and even say, "Oh, I don't think it was such a racist attack after all." Becasue it is racism of convenience.

Lola Kutty, oh that? That's just a television show to have some fun. Isn't it? Not racism, do you think?

1 comment:

vadakkan said...

I agree. I reviewed some of the Big brother videos on youtube.com. I saw some ignorant and stupid comments being made but did not see any racism. I did not see any issues that would warrant government officials getting involved or public protests. There are a lot of stupid people in this world, that doesn't mean they are all racists. She needs to have the balls to stand up for herself. This is probably her first time facing a real world and real people. Stupid does not equal racists. They just never had a chance to venture out of their pond so their worldview is skewed.
secondly, if you have seen that show, it is all about backstabbing, arguments and other devious behavior. I've never seen a big brother show where everyone is getting along, singing and dancing. Bitchy behavior is what sells the show. Shetty should have know that before she signed up.