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Wednesday, January 17, 2007



As an Indian woman born and raised in England, watching the bullying and isolation of Shilpa was very distressing. I doubt there are many Indian or black people in Britain who have not experienced at some time or another the same kind of thing. But we get up and dust ourselves off and get on with life.

However, seeing it on the TV screen was so bad because it brought the memories of those situations back. When white people say it's an over reaction, well, maybe, but what would they know about sustained campaigns of racially coded bullying and isolation? I don't expect white people to understand our experiences, but I don't want them to question why we feel strongly about an issue, especially when it involves something that hits a collective raw nerve, especially amongst the younger generation. We have done everything right by this country -- we work hard, we have the best exam results at school, we contribute and integrate. But at some level there is always going to be a vibe that we do not belong. Shilpa felt that vibe and we felt it too because we've all felt it at some point, and we let our feelings known.

I am glad that the complaints were made to Channel 4, who thought that they could get away with this as entertainment. This has brought issues to the surface that needed to be aired.

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