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Poll launched in UK on Shilpa issue

The poll asks people whether the abuse suffered by Shilpa Shetty is racist or cultural.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 16:05 IST

The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) has launched a poll on its website seeking people's views on the controversial racial bullying of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty on reality TV show "Celebrity Big Brother".

Jane Goody, who was voted out of the show late Friday, had referred to Shetty as "Shilpa Poppadom". Goody's mother Jackiey Budden had called her "the Indian" and refused to pronounce her name properly.

In its poll, the HFB has asked people whether the abuse suffered by Shetty and the name 'poppodom' is racist or cultural.

The forum said it had been inundated by calls from members of the community about the treatment meted out to the Bollywood star. HFB said the poll was expected to offer insights into the impact the reality show had on the Indian community in Britain.

Said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the forum: "The behaviour of some of those in the 'Big Brother' house is unacceptable in today's society. While it might not be overt, this more subtle form of abuse is something many Indians experience everyday.

"There is also the bigger problem of ignorance of Shilpa's culture and background as well as out and out bullying. While Jade Goody does not represent the majority of people in this country, her behaviour is something common to many people of all creeds and races. The show has highlighted just how difficult it is to prove racist or bullying behaviour."