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'Goody will be welcomed with open arms'

Shilpa's father Surendra says he would invite Goody to his Mumbai home and ask her to sit at his dinner table.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 17:58 IST

In true Gandhian style, Shilpa Shetty's family has decided to welcome Jade Goody with open arms during her India visit next month and said a few "hurtful words" made by the Briton against the Indian actress should not make her the victim of aggression.

Shilpa's father Surendra said he would invite Goody to his Mumbai home and ask her to sit at his dinner table.

"There is so much being said about this young woman that can only deeply hurt her. She said a few hurtful words towards my daughter, but that should not also make her the victim of aggression and hate," the senior Shetty told The Mail on Sunday.

"We are Hindus who pray for peace. My family follow the Mahatma Gandhi's principle of non-violence and non-animosity towards others," he said.

Thousands of Britons had complained to Britain's television regulator, alleging that Shilpa Shetty had been subjected to racial abuse from Goody on the TV reality show Big Brother.

Shetty, an industrialist, said he had found it "extremely painful" to see his daughter rounded on by some of her Big Brother housemates, but he was proud of the manner in which Shilpa responded.

"Perhaps Shilpa is unaware at this time of much of what was said about her, but when she comes to know, it won't mean much to her," he said.

Shetty, who is very close to his eldest daughter, said he is looking forward to renewing their Tuesday night routine one-mile walk to the local temple for prayers.

Goody has been given a six-month visa by the Indian government and is likely to visit the country next week.

Jade plans to visit a Bollywood film set and several children's charities as well as make a public apology for her behaviour towards Shilpa.