Sexy Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty

Fans of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty marched down a street in Patna chanting “Down with Big Brother”. They were protesting the alleged racist taunting of Shilpa Shetty, an Indian film star during a British reality TV show. They also burnt an effigy representing the program’s producers.

Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, 31, had been repeatedly reduced to tears during Celebrity Big Brother by fellow contestant Jade Goody, who had called Shilpa’s cooking untrustworthy, mocked her accent and complained about her “screeching”.

This controversy has created various issues in London. It has prompted Prime Minister Tony Blair to condemn racism (even as he acknowledged he had not seen the program). Europe’s biggest mobile phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse, also announced that it was suspending sponsorship of the series because it did not want its name associated with claims of racist bullying. Broadcaster Channel 4, whose ratings have soared since the row erupted stood by the controversial show. British High Commission in New Delhi had fielded thousands of calls on the issue.

Having said that, Shilpa has become the favorite to win the competition. Besides, the Indian papers also commented that the racism in India is even worse. Many of India’s one billion people still live within a hierarchy imposed by the Hindu caste system that, for instance, stops low castes entering some temples decades after such discrimination was outlawed. Muslims face widespread prejudice and have often been seen as the enemy within since Islamic Pakistan was carved out of British-ruled India at independence.

Here with the controversial show: