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Ours is a racist country, says Greer

india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 02:12 IST

Members of Parliament, thousands of Asians and even feminist diva Germaine Greer have defended Shilpa Shetty against alleged racism on reality show Celebrity Big Brother.

MP Keith Vaz, who is of Indian origin, tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons, Greer penned a characteristically mocking piece for The Guardian, defending Shilpa and ridiculing Britons for the way Asians are treated in this country.

Greer wrote: "That is not surprising. This is a racist country; to the vast majority of couch potatoes out there, Shilpa is a 'Paki bird'. There is almost no inter-penetration of English and Indian cultures in Britain."

Greer says that not many seem to have understood that Shilpa is "a very good actress. Everyone hates her because she wants them to. She also knows that if she infuriates people enough, their innate racism will spew forth. Shilpa is enjoying herself. Ladbroke's are quoting her 10/3 favourite."

On the BBC Asian Network, presenter Anita Rani has launched a 'Save Shilpa' campaign: "Let's do it. Let's unite and save the Bollywood princess. We have to get the real Asian network working in full force and spread the word..." The network said it had received more calls and e-mails on the issue than any other recent topic.

Vaz's early day motion in the House of Commons read: "This house views with concern the comments made about 'Big Brother' contestant Shilpa Shetty by other housemates; believes that 'Big Brother' has a role to play in preventing racist behaviour..."