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Shilpa episode not to impact India-UK ties
January 18, 2007
India on Thursday said allegations of racist attacks on Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty in a British television show would not impact relations with the United Kingdom.
"This will pass," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said during a joint press conference with UK Chancellor of Exchequer Gordon Brown at the launch of the India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue. "The episode has not strained ties between the two governments and people of India and the UK."
"We are against any form of racism," Brown said, pointing out that after the news of the racial insults surfaced, thousands of Britons condemned it. He said Britain wants to send a message that nothing that impacts its reputation as a "fair and tolerant" society would be accepted. He added that both India and UK have shared values of fairness and tolerance.
"I am confident that the universal condemnation of the racist remarks will result in change in behaviour of the persons associated with the programme," Chidambaram said.
Shetty, 31, who features in Channel 4's reality show Celebrity Big Brother, broke down on television on Monday after allegedly being taunted by fellow contestants about her skin colour, accent and cooking.