Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My name is Divya.

It seems to me that the whole world knows how to pronounce 'Sheel-paa' . For the last day and a half, all the news networks have obssessed over the leggy beauty and the racial slurs made at her on Channel 4's Big Brother. I'm not condoning calling people names because of their ethnic origin, heck, it did enrage me for a bit even, but, hasn't this issue been stretched GROSSLY out of proportion? With a star cast of B grade, barely bitten by fame or stardom celebs, jealousy is bound to surface. Big Brother's Indian version Big Boss is no less dramatic but when your 'stars' are Bhojpuri actors and item-bomb starlets, racism never did figure.

Every other two bit who's who has something to say in favour of Ms. Shetty. Polls have been run and the support numbers grow. The I & B Ministry calls on its secretaries to address the issue. UK's Chancellor presents the picture- ' intolerance is unnacceptable'. The governments sure know when to be involved. Their sense of priority is beyond my comprehension. Where were they when indiscriminate attacks were made on South Asians in the UK? When Muslims were made targets of racial profiling post 9/11 and 7/7? And the instances don't stop here.

The emphasis thrown on the same by different news networks is even more puzzling. The week has been dominated by Aishwarya, Abhishek and Shilpa. The rest be damned. The little scroll space beneath glitzzy pictures will do. Pardon my sarcasm, but none of this makes me proud to be an Indian journalist.

The only good I see coming out of this is for Shilpa herself. Three crores and a screenful of publicity can't hurt when your career graph doesn't merit either.

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