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?India is hurt, UK informed?

India raises the issue of ?racial abuse? against Shilpa Shetty with the British government, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 02:24 IST

India on Wednesday raised the issue of ‘racial abuse’ against Shilpa Shetty with the British government. Shetty has been abused and bullied on the reality television show Celebrity Big Brother currently on air on Channel 4 in the UK.

Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, who met UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, said he conveyed the sensitivities of the Indian people about the reported incident to Brown.

“India is extremely sensitive to issues of discrimination and racial abuse. I conveyed this to Gordon Brown during the bilateral meeting. I told him that we do react very sensitively to such issues. The Chancellor told me that Britain subscribes to a non-discriminatory social system,” said Nath.

“I hope that this is an isolated aberration and told the Chancellor that the multi-racial and inclusive nature of British society should be sensitive enough to such matters,” said Nath.

Shetty, the only Indian in the house, has been a soft target. She was allegedly called a ‘Paki’ and a ‘dog’ by her housemates in the reality show. She broke down after one such incident saying it was all a “nasty game”.

However, Shetty has not yet raised the issue with the channel. But thousands of viewers across Britain have complained to the media regulator, Ofcom, complaining about the nasty treatment given to Shetty. The matter was also raised in the House of Commons.

Email Gaurav Choudhury: gaurav .choudhury@hindustantimes.com