No I am not going to talk about Shilpa Shetty & Celebrity Big Brother nonsense. But if you are interested in it, you will enjoy these posts.
Germaine Greer write about the issue in the Guardian:
The brouhaha about racism in the Big Brother house is a smoke screen that conceals what is really vicious and corrupting about CBB. Plain, everyday, common or garden bullying supplies the motive force for everything that happens in the Big Brother house.
Hari Kunzru says:
The others, for the most part, showed their almost total ignorance of and lack of curiosity about India, which she has dealt with more politely than I would have. She is recognisably middle-class Indian in her good manners and her forthrightness, as well as her occasional nerdiness and her unconscious pomposity.
Ummm….not really Mr. Kunzru. It ain’t that simple. And calling someone racist for their inability to learn a name in another language is surely, just a bit over the top.
Shoefiend talks of the utter inanity & silliness of the show when she discusses the questions asked by the participants:
Jade wanted to know about eskimos. In particular, how it was possible ‘they weren’t icy cubes, y’know coz the wither n’all. And ‘ow they tok to one nother. Is like dolphins communicate? Do they go mewmewmew to one nother or sumthink?’
In another post, she says:
On the allegations of racism.While they’re definitely being ignorant, stupid and mean, the fact that the person on the receiving end of all this is brown adds a racial undertone to the entire thing.
IMHO, Indians in Europe/USA should stop being so sensitive about everything. We are no saints. Our own racist attitudes are there for all to see. As Russell Peters said in one of his memorable videos (sorry no link):
White people. I have news for you. Stop being afraid of being called a racist. You will never be as racist as we (Indians) are.
He was obviously referring to the fact that we derive our identity from belonging to smaller & smaller segments. We divide ourselves on the basis of religion, caste, sub-caste, region, sub-region, class, education, language, dialect, and a host of other things. North Vs. South. Marathi Vs. Bhaiyya. Kannadiga Vs. Tamil. Tamil Vs. Telugu. Bhojpuri Vs. Maithili. Punjabi Vs. Gujju. Bengalis Vs. the rest. Hindus Vs. Muslims. Hindus Vs. Christians. Hindus Vs. Sikhs. Muslims Vs. Sikhs. Brahmins Vs. Vaishya. SC/ST Vs. High-caste (whatever THAT means). OBC Vs. SC/ST. SCs vs. STs. Veg Vs. Non-Veg. Jains Vs. Veg. And we actively discriminate on all these bases.
Falstaff strikes the nail on its head, with the most brilliant piece of all:
It’s Television. TELEVISION. This means a) it’s NOT real and b) it’s supposed to be idiotic and to shock you in the crassest, most obvious way possible. That’s what television (especially reality TV) is about. Can you imagine a reality show where everyone sat around and behaved graciously and politely to each other and played tiddly-winks? Who would watch a show like that? In fact, who would watch a reality show where the participants weren’t pathetic human beings whom you could compare yourself to and feel superior? Isn’t that the whole point of the genre? Complaining that they’re not behaving decently is like griping about how the Rambo films have too much violence.
And Greatbong proves his moniker isn’t just for show with gems like:
The normally apathetic Indian government’s reaction has been swift. Usually unwilling to take stances on most foreign issues, they have reacted decisively probably swayed by the tidal wave of outrage.
…Taking particular exception to racist suggestions that Shilpa’s breasts may be fake, Desipundit has made a “sticky” post where agitated male bloggers are for now just wiping their hands.
…“They might not have apologized for Jallianwalah Bagh but they sure did for Shilpa Shetty” yelled a jubilant youngster as the tunes of “It happens only in India“, a song from another Shilpa Shetty starrer Pardesi Babu started playing on his cellphone.
Seriously, good drama! As they say, things are getting better & better (esp. for Endemol & Channel 4).