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Jun 17, 2007 at 04:04pm IST

Govt steps in for Shilpa Shetty

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty made big news when she joined the league of nine international celebs on UK’s Channel 4 reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother.

However, Shilpa - who is reportedly getting Rs 3 crore for her appearance on the show - is now at the receiving end of racist abuse.

On Tuesday, complaints started pouring in from viewers about the racist remarks against the actor to the UK independent media regulator, Ofcom.

And that's not all. The Indian Government has taken note of the racist attacks and Information and Broadcasting Minister, Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, is writing to the Indian Foreign Minister - Pranab Mukherjee - to urge the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to look into the matter.

He says that the MEA should take up the issue with the UK government and has asked Mukherjee to speak to Indian High Commission in UK and ascertain facts.

He said, "The Indian Government is not accountable on the Shilpa Shetty issue as it is an arrangement with an individual, but the Government is committed against racism."

Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma also said, "We are seized of the matter and we are looking into all the aspects. We will take appropriate action as required."

"The world knows that India has throughout firmly rejected all forms of discrimination and racism," he added.

Shilpa Shetty was called 'Paki', 'dog' and 'that Indian' on the show - comments that drove her to tears.

The producers of the show are probing the matter and the echoes of the row also spilled over in the British House of Commons - Britain's lower chamber of parliament - where Labour MP Keith Vaz tabled an early day motion demanding a probe into the alleged comments.

Vaz said members of his Leicester East constituency had contacted him about alleged racism on the Channel 4 show.

The Big Brothers of Indian politics will now keep a watchful eye on the plight of Shilpa. If things got out of hand, they would even launch a freedom struggle on behalf of Shilpa.

(With inputs from PTI)

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