Topics : Art
Culture - Fashion
& Hot Bollywood Film News : *
News - Hindi Cinema Reviews - Previews - Music Chart -
21 Bollywood beauties dance for Sajid's 'Hey Baby'
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Jan 22 When TV host-turned-director
Sajid Khan decided to shoot a song for his film "Hey Baby" with
21 leading ladies, sister Farah took time off to choreograph the
The leading ladies who gladly participated in the marathon song
included Ameesha Patel, Diya Mirza, Koena Mitra, Shamita Shetty,
Neha Dhupia, Malaika and sister Amrita Arora, Amrita Rao, Tara
Sharma, Minissha Lamba, Celina Jaitley, Riya Sen, Sophie and
Aarti Chabria and Hrishita Bhatt also participated.
"They're all my friends. They did it for me. And I'd do the same
for them if they asked me," Sajid told IANS.
Sajid gets emotional while talking about his sister.
"Farah had once choreographed me in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Jhooth
Bole Kauwa Kate'. And we've done a lot of stage shows together.
She's now choreographed my first song in my first film as
director. Sajid Nadiadwala (the producer) and Farah are like my
two eyes and arms."
He dismisses rumours of not getting along with his
brother-in-law Shirish Kunder. "We share a healthy camaraderie.
Farah today lives separately. But we keep a constant vigil on
"Like any brother, I felt cheated when someone came and took her
way. But it's an inevitable cycle of life, and I'm all right
Sajid is excited about the cast.
"Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Fardeen Khan, Vidya Balan are
all working together for the first time. None of these actors
have worked with me, Farah or Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy before. Trust
me you've never seen these actors do anything like this
Sajid wants to make the kind of film he would like to see.
"I'm a member of the audience first, then a director. I don't
like boring films."
The buzz is that Sajid is re-making the hit "Three Men & A Baby"
but he dismisses this.
"Just because my film has three men and a baby in it? My film is
as much 'Three Men & A Baby' as 'Munnabhai M.B.B.S.' was 'Patch
Adams' or 'Tehzeeb' was
'Autumn Sonata' or 'Sholay' was 'Magnificent 7'. When you see
'Hey Baby' you'll know what I mean."
The baby being the pivotal character, how does Sajid intend to
get its expressions right?
"I wouldn't like to talk about it now. But yes, the baby's
expressions will be as real as it can be ... with some technical
wizardry helping us get it right. We've got the F-X guys behind
'Matrix', 'Lord Of The Rings' and 'King Kong' to assist us.
"I intend to do my entire post-production and sound mix in
Australia at the 20th Century Fox studios."
"Hey Baby" will be shot in Australia, France, Udaipur and
"I gave the scripting two years of my life. For the first six
months I constantly kept changing the story until I got it
"I've grown up watching films of every kind. I won't make the
mistakes that I've seen my predecessors made. That's why I laugh
when people accuse me of re-making 'Three Men & A Baby'. I'm not
Before one reacts to that Sajid poses a question.
"Do you know why I chose Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to do the music for
'Hey Baby'? That's because their name doesn't figure in the list
of copycats on a website devoted to exposing plagiarism in Hindi
Sajid and producer Nadiadwala have been experimenting
extensively on how to get the little baby's looks right.
"Nadiadwala likes to spend a lot of money. But I'm not one of
those who'll splurge. I want to make a film that will justify
the Rs.400 million budget."
Doesn't the budget scare Sajid? "I'd be as scared if I was
making a Rs.40 million movie. The responsibility is the same."
After "Hey Baby" Sajid plans to return to his first love -
"I've given my career on television a backseat. Once 'Hey Baby'
goes into post-production I'll return to TV.
Any marriage plans?
"I'm 35 now. I'll give myself another five years to settle down.
No, I don't have a girlfriend. I don't like to be answerable to
anyone. I'm alone. But I'm not lonely. Besides, I'm never at
Shilpa Shetty puts racism on
British public agenda (COMMENTARY)
By Prasun Sonwalkar
Shilpa Shetty will be long remembered for doing what the
Commission for Racial Equality and other institutions have been
struggling to do - put racism on top of Britain's public agenda.
The issue has been lurking around for some time but not under
such blinding media torchlight that "Celebrity Big Brother" show
has come under. The last time racism hit the headlines - but not
to this extent - was in 1999 when the inquiry into
Afro-Caribbean teenager Stephen Lawrence's murder called the
police force "institutionally racist".
For nearly two weeks now, old and new media - print, radio,
television, chatrooms, blogs - have been clogged with debates
around Jade Goody's unseemly conduct towards Bollywood actor
Shilpa touched a raw nerve in Britain's large non-white
But large numbers of the white community have also voiced
revulsion over Goody's 'colourful' comments. Driven by political
correctness or not, almost everyone has rushed to proclaim their
stand against racism, right from Prime Minister Tony Blair
As the strong reaction shows, the Asian community in Britain is
remarkably networked. The many fissures within the community are
pushed into the background when faced with the curse of racism.
The vast majority of Asians who have born and brought up in
Britain (and new migrants) have at some point faced racism -
overt or covert.
Of course, nobody believes that the Goody-Shilpa spat will
overnight change attitudes, despite the overwhelming majority
voting to evict Goody from the Big Brother house. But the show
has indeed brought to the surface how much remains to be done to
weed out racism from British society.
The Shilpa show also highlighted the economic strength of
Britain's Asian community - not only as consumers but also as
wealth creators. The strength of what is called the 'brown
pound' has become more important at a time when Indian
investment has been flooding into Britain and creating jobs.
Apart from the main sponsor Carphone Warehouse, companies whose
food, furniture and electrical goods are used in the Big Brother
house have asked for their products to be removed from the show.
These include Indian origin entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria's Cobra
Beer and United Biscuits.
There are already signs that the row is hastening ongoing
official measures to further strengthen Britain's multicultural
mosaic. Education secretary Alan Johnson has promised to
overhaul citizenship lessons in schools to dispel racist and
ignorant attitudes. Johnson's plans include discussions of core
national values such as fairness and mutual respect and debate
about what "Britishness" means. Children will also learn about
the way immigrant groups throughout history have forged the
shape of the nation.
Johnson said: "The current debate over Big Brother has
highlighted the need to make sure our schools focus on the core
British values of justice and tolerance. We want the world to be
talking about the respect and understanding we give all
cultures, not the ignorance and bigotry shown on our TV screens.
"Britain is a nation built from and by people from other
countries, from the Romans and William the Conqueror right
through modern history. We owe a debt of gratitude to all the
people that make up Britain today: immigrants from Pakistan,
India and the West Indies have helped build our new welfare
system and our public services, particularly the NHS."
John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, said the row had exposed
"an ugly underbelly in society" and added that the furore had
highlighted how people "are only too ready to point the finger
at the foreigner, or those who might not fit in".
Meanwhile, Vanni Treves, a former chairman of Channel 4, has
expressed outrage at the Big Brother show, calling it a
"grotesque travesty" of what Channel 4 is supposed to be. He
wants the show to be taken off the air for good. Under the terms
of the 2003 Communications Act, Channel 4 is expected to
"demonstrate innovation, experimentation and creativity, appeal
to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society and
to include programmes of an educational nature".
Although it is state-owned, the channel is self-financing.
However, because of its public service remit, it does not pay
for access to the analogue system through which it broadcasts.
Rival channels, including ITV and Five, do have to pay.
The row comes at a bad time for Channel 4, which wants
government money to help it fill a black hole caused by an
expected drop in advertising revenue.
Launched in 2000, Big Brother has been Channel 4's biggest
money-spinner, accounting for around seven percent of its 800
million pounds advertising income. The loss of the show would
deliver a major blow to the station whose profits slumped by two
thirds to 20 million pounds last year as a result of falling
advertising revenues and rising costs. Reports say that Channel
4 executives have already frozen their £600 million programme
According to latest statistics, viewing figures for the show
rose sharply with audiences peaked at 8.8 million when host
Davina McCall interviewed Goody Friday night. Around 7.4 million
watched Goody leave the house earlier that evening - 40 percent
of the total TV audience.
(Prasun Sonwalkar is the Europe Editor of IANS. He can be
reached at email@example.com)
I'm re-living my childhood with my kids: A.R. Rahman
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Jan 22 Noted composer A.R. Rahman, who
recently turned 40, is trying to make up for all that he missed
in his formative years by spending quality time with his
Rahman, who celebrated 40th birthday Jan 6 - the day on which
his son also turned four - said he's entering the most important
decade of his life.
"So far I've just been busy living life. From my childhood I was
surrounded by grownups, I never got a chance to enjoy being a
child. It took me a while to realise how young I was. By the
time I realised I was missing out on youthful activity; I was no
longer young, Rahman told IANS.
"Now, I'm re-living my childhood with my three children. If I'm
able to give them everything that I couldn't afford, they too
are giving me back something vital."
He and his son share the same birthday.
"My son turned four on Jan 6. Yeah, he and I share the same
birthday. I don't know how that happened."
And what does he make of the 40 years of his life?
"My life has always been a journey. When I was in my 20s I went
through the most turbulent and hectic time of my life. Now I
spend as much time as possible with my children Khatija (11),
Rahima (8) and Amin (4).
"My studio in Chennai is right opposite my house, so they spend
a lot of time with me. All they've to do is cross the road and
they're with me."
Three of his works will compete for an Oscar in the best
original song category.
"They've short-listed 56 songs, of which three - 'Khalbali' and
'Luka chuppi' (from 'Rang De Basanti') and 'Chan chan' (from
'Water') - are mine.
"I was expecting a list of 500-600 songs, I'm quite surprised. I
think the way they look at our films and music abroad has
completely changed now. There's a lot more respect for what we
do. They don't think of us as oddities any longer. They don't
think of us as dancing around trees."
Rahman chose the three songs for the Oscars on his own.
"I chose 'Luka chuppi' because of Lataji (Mangeshkar). She's the
pride of the nation. I don't know what the outcome would be. I
think it's a big honour to be there.
"God willing, if my song gets nominated, I'll be there in Los
Angeles. But to get to the last 56 songs is quite an honour. My
agent in Los Angeles was sweet enough to take care of all the
nitty-gritty," Rehman stated
I was not in hiding: Rani Mukerji (INTERVIEW)
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumabi, Jan 22 Rani Mukerji, who has
resurfaced after a long hiatus, says she was not in hiding but
doesn't like "intrusions" into her personal life.
"I really don't like to let the world know what I'm doing every
day of my life. I was not hiding anywhere. The truth is I was
shooting in New York for (Siddharth Anand's) 'Tara Rum Pum',"
Rani told IANS.
"Do you know, Siddharth was with me in school? He had earlier
assisted Kunal Kohli on 'Mujhse Dosti Karoge'. And now he was
directing me! As for Saif Ali Khan, how he has evolved since
'Hum Tum'! He's such a focussed and committed actor!"
Explaining her suddenly reclusive status, Rani said: "I was
completely cut off from Mumbai in New York. It was fun to be on
my own. And when I got homesick, my parents visited me. When I'm
on location abroad, I generally like to remain totally cut off.
"This time my absence seemed glaring because I was not present
for the release of a major film like 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' (KANK).
Everyone wondered why I wasn't here to promote it."
Far away in New York, Rani really bonded with choreographer
"She wasn't just my choreographer there, but also my companion,"
said Rani emotionally.
Since she hasn't really spoken about her role as the confused
wife in KANK, Rani does so now.
"Why is it that a wife must be happy just because her husband is
seemingly perfect and happy with her? What if the woman finds
love after finding this supposedly perfect husband? A man can
find passion outside marriage no matter how attentive his wife
is. But a woman doing the same is unacceptable.
"I think we need to salute Karan Johar for dealing with the very
important issue of passionless marriages in urban settings with
such maturity. I'm very proud of being in KANK."
And she's equally proud of "Baabul".
"You know, people often talk about the daughter-in-law being
equal in status to the daughter. But does anyone actually
believe in this? My father-in-law in 'Baabul' does. I think
audiences got to see all all-new side of me and Amitji (Amitabh
Bachchan) after 'Black' and KANK in the film."
The stressful situation in Varanasi while shooting for Pradeep
Sarkar's untitled film took its toll on Rani and she fell ill.
This was Rani's third film to be shot in the holy city.
"And why the stress? Can you believe that they burnt my
photographs in Varanasi? What have I done? I wasn't even aware
of what had transpired before I arrived for the press
conference. I came to know there was some kind of a scuffle.
"I came there after shooting, hot and tired and in no mood to
answer personal questions. What was so wrong if I said my
marriage is my parents' concern? I really feel men get
intimidated by women who assert themselves, specially if the
woman happens to be Bengali."
Rani even apologised for her behaviour at the conference but it
didn't seem enough.
"I was asked to say sorry for my behaviour at the press
conference, which I did. Now they're turning it around to say I
didn't say sorry properly. They're saying, 'We're going to break
Rani's bangles.' They've even named the film 'Choodiyan', for
god knows what reason.
"The people who think my sorry isn't good enough, let me tell
them I'm a well brought-up girl. If you talk decently with me
I'm humble. And for their information, I'm a UP girl too. My
father is from Jhansi. So there."
Amidst all this, pandemonium Rani is delighted by the fact that
the local authorities love her performances in "Bunty Aur Babli"
"They're going on and on about my contrasting performances in
the two. That feels good, specially when you're being hammered
for no reason."
Speaking of "Black", talk veers to Sanjay Bhansali's "Saawariya",
for which Rani has completed a schedule with her favourite
"Since I've been keeping a low-profile, people have been making
up stories about how I play a courtesan in 'Saawariya'. No such
thing! Let the film be released and everyone will see what we
have done together."
Talking about her friendship with Bhansali, Rani said: "There're
very few relationships in the industry that go way beyond work.
I'm there for Bhansali and his mother even if we don't work
together again. But what I'd really like as a greedy actress is
for him to make another film with me and Amit uncle (Amitabh
Amit uncle brings Rani to Jaya aunty.
"I've always admired Jaya aunty's work. I looked forward to work
with her, and now it's happened," she said.
My AIDS films will ride on Bollywood hits: Mira Nair
New Delhi, Jan 22 Award-winning filmmaker Mira
Nair plans to make a series of four films aimed at spreading
awareness about AIDS and plans to attach them to Bollywood hits
to reach out to more people.
For her the AIDS JaaGo project, Nair has collaborated with
Avahan, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS
"They (films) are going to piggyback on Bollywood blockbusters
and find the masses who are going to watch blockbusters. They
will be permanently linked to A-grade Bollywood movies and going
by the reach of Bollywood it will be shown in India and abroad,"
Nair told reporters here Monday.
"It will be a part of the DVD if that can be worked out. In
addition, we will have a one-hour film where the collection of
the four films will be clubbed together along with the panel of
directors speaking. And that will be showcased in a massive way
on television and film festivals," she added.
When asked what prompted her to venture into this field, she
said: "I came to it after an intimate loss but also because of
the general fact that how terrible it is."
She has picked up the choicest of filmmakers - Vishal Bhardwaj,
Farhan Akhtar and Santosh Sivan - who each will make a 12-minute
film, along with one by herself.
Bhardwaj has already finished his script for a thriller and
would start casting.
"You need to have a good story to make a good film," said
Sivan, who has roped in Prabhu Deva, will centre his film on the
sufferings of a boy who suffers from the disease. He is going to
shoot the film in Mysore.
Nair's 12-minute film is born out of a real life incident and
would star Irrfan Khan, Shiney Ahuja, Raima Sen and Sameera
"The films are expected to be complete by June 15. After that it
will take us six to eight weeks to put them together. It would
be ready to be shown from Sep 1 onwards.
"They are going to be low budgets and we are not making salaries
out of these movies. Everyone will be paid but it will be a sort
of token amount rather than the millions mostly make. The idea
is not to make money but to make exciting cinema. It will look
as good as other movies but it will not make people's pocket
Nair said that if the series will be a success, she would
continue it next year.
"If the series would be success there is a chance we could make
another four films with other four directors next year and so
that's the idea. I hope we continue to the series.
"The films are for the mass general audience and it will target
For the distribution of the film, she said: "I am depending on
my personal relationships and people wanting to have business
with us. The only absolute agreement I have is with UTV. I am
depending on them to make it a permanent part of their
"Also, I plan to meet Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs. He is very much
in solidarity with the idea. And I am also going to see Yash
Chopra. They are the people I know and they have been told about
it and I am confident they will agree because of the calibre of
films we are going to give them.
"The onus lies on us and the actors to make the film more
entertaining, unpredictable and exciting cinema rather than
lecture or commercials. People will come to see blockbuster but
would go home talking about our film."
Shah Rukh magic prevails on KBC
Mumbai, Jan 22 Shah Rukh Khan Monday night
strode into the millions of homes as new Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)
host and charmed the audiences with his instant wit and warmth.
Proving sceptics wrong, Shah Rukh, clad in a black suit,
comfortably stepped into Amitabh Bachchan's shoes as the anchor
of the popular quiz show.
If the first two seasons of KBC were mega hit, with Shah Rukh
it's set to scale new heights of success in its third season.
On day one of the show, he was at his hilarious best.
He said: "I am going to unlock KBC - but before that I would
like to answer a few questions. People asked me, 'Will you speak
in Hindi?' I will talk more, rock youngsters and shock you with
my jokes sometimes.
"I was also asked, 'what kind of coat you will wear?" Whatever
you want me to wear I will wear it. I will even wear petticoat,"
said Shah Rukh.
Said Virendra Popli, senior vice president (interactive) of STAR
India PVt Ltd: "We are loving it. It's a great show and initial
response is phenomenal. And, of course, we are relived. As far
as future plans go we are planning to build up on it."
Fans' verdict was also positive.
"He is going to be super-hit as he is doing what he is best at.
He is an intelligent conversationalist and he made it obvious on
the show," said Neeraj Kumar, a Delhi-based professional
They say the first impression is the last impression and Shah
Rukh has surely started on the right note. Though his persona is
different from that of Amitabh, he has managed to keep the
spirit and essence of the quiz show intact.
If anything, you can feel the generation gap between the two
superstars - Shah Rukh is wittier, livelier and more easy-going
with his contestants.
He was very friendly with Sarkar, the first day's contestant,
and even shared pleasantries with his wife as well.
Shah Rukh's official language is going to be 'Hinglish' and
instead of "lock kiya jaye" he says: "Freeze kar diya jaye".
Like his fans this is a big moment for King Khan too so he is
rejoicing it at the Taj Hotel here with Samir Nair, Popli, and
400 STAR employees.
The show's launch was preceded by a stylishly shot hip-hop music
video and, as usual, the king of Bollywood was at his best in
Rakeysh Mehra ecstatic about BAFTA nomination
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Jan 23 Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Rang
De Basanti" couldn't make it to the Oscar nominations, but the
director is thrilled that his film has been short-listed for the
prestigious British Academy Of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
non-English language award.
Earlier, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Devdas" had got the honour for
'film not in the English language' category.
"Have you seen the other nominations?" Mehra said excitedly.
" 'Rang De Basanti' shares the list with Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto'
and Pedro Almodovar's 'Volver'. We're in excellent company. I
spoke to A.R. Rahman in Toronto. He was thrilled. The entire
team is over the moon. In fact, we're putting together a
documentary on the film where Rahman says 'Rang De...' has
changed his career," Mehra told IANS.
BAFTA held screenings of the film, which has Aamir Khan and Soha
Ali Khan playing important roles, in Los Angeles, New York and
"I attended those screenings and also the extremely enlightening
Q&A sessions after the screenings. We kept talking until 1.30
a.m. In India we'd have gone home. Just goes to show distances
are being bridged not just in the corporate world but also in
the entertainment business.
"The thing about BAFTA is it's the European counterpart of the
Oscars. The Europeans take this award very seriously."
Mehra is sill receiving congratulatory calls.
"People in London, who informed me, said it was a huge honour
for Indian cinema. The foreign-film category is hugely
competitive. How do I explain the endless run of 'Rang De
Basanti'? I think the emotions there are very basic.
On Feb 11 Mehra is going to be in London for BAFTA with the
entire "Rang De Basanti" team.
But the bifurcation of the best film and best director awards in
some of the Indian popular awards, with only one-half going to
"Rang De Basanti", has exasperated Mehra.
"They've 90 categories, somewhere you can see the awards being
politicised. Okay, I don't mind if I don't get best director.
But how can 'Rang De...' not be awarded for editing or lyrics??
"The lyrics have given the film a poetic perspective. Popular
awards are being given out to balance the picture. If a film is
good, embrace it, please. By sheer mathematics, if 'Rang De...'
gets maximum nominations, it should equal to best film. I'm not
annoyed, only amused."
"Indian cinema is changing. So should the awards. But RDB is
representing India at BAFTA. So I'm not complaining."
On a brighter note, what will Mehra be wearing at BAFTA?
"Anything from my wardrobe, yaar! Are you suggesting a designer?
No way. I haven't budgeted for that kind of extravagance."
On Jan 26 "Rang De..." gets re-released in India.
"It's just 25 prints. To watch it again would be fun."
Marriage yes, but not right now: Sanjay Dutt (INTERVIEW)
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Jan 23 Sanjay Dutt says media
speculation about his marriage with Maanyata makes him
uncomfortable and he would appreciate being left alone.
"The day I'm married all my friends and well-wishers will know
about it. Marriage is something I'm looking forward to. It's
perhaps that anchor which I need. Yeah, I do feel the need to
settle down. But not right now. My top priority is to get out of
my legal hassles. Only then will I think about other aspects of
my life," Sanjay told IANS in an interview.
Apparently, in a fit of drunken defiance, he told a journalist
he's married to his girlfriend, and what can he do about it? And
the news spread at an amazing speed.
His intentions behind being seen with Maanyata at an awards
function appear almost naïve.
"She wanted to see a (glamorous) show like that. Of course, I
was aware her presence would make people curious. But I never
imagined they'd start maligning her name. That's a terrible
thing to do. She's a sweet simple soul. I can't imagine why
they're saying such terrible things about her. I wish people
would leave the two of us alone."
He is more than willing to step out in the open with her but
doesn't appreciate media speculation.
"All this speculation is making me very uncomfortable. The truth
is, I've known Maanyata for four years. She comes from a very
conservative business family. Why all this dirt about her? I'm
not denying her past. Everyone has a past. I've one. So does
she, I'm sure.
"Why rake it up just to humiliate her? This is especially unfair
since what's been written about her is untrue. How can they pull
her down just because she is involved with me?
"Of course, I'm proud of her. My intention of taking her to the
awards function was very simple. She had never been to a grand
awards function. And I wanted her to see one," said Sanjay.
Sanjay, who got a further reprieve as a special TADA court
trying the 1993 serial blasts case extended his bail till Feb 6,
now wants to improve his public image.
"So far I've been so tied down with my court cases I've had no
time for anything. But, now, that I'm hopefully out of it I
promise a better image to myself. I was so tense because of my
court cases that I couldn't work. I didn't shoot for six months.
"I'm back to work with Sanjay Gupta's 'Dus Kahaniyan', Indra
Kumar's 'Dhamaal' and, of course, the third Munnabhai film that
will start by the end of the year, if all goes well. Then
there's Sanjay Gupta's 'Alibaug' and Shyam Benegal's 'Chamki
Sanjay admitted that after his father's death he has become
"God has been kind. And I've full faith in the judiciary. I wish
things would become okay in my life again. I've been alone for a
large part of my life. After dad's (Sunil Dutt) death I feel
But he is willing to carry forward his father's legacy.
"I now feel like the man of the family. I've watched my sisters
grow up. I feel responsible towards them. I've got to carry my
dad's good work forward. I've taken over dad's charitable work,
with the cancer foundation, for AIDS and his efforts with an
institute called SUPPORT to help street kids overcome drug
Now, perhaps, Sanjay needs to think about himself a bit.
"I feel the need to settle down. I'm still not able to go out of
the country. But my daughter (who lives in the US) keeps
visiting. My daughter is all of 18 now. She's attending a
college in the US, her chosen subject is forensic science."
He became emotional while talking about the film industry's
"When they decided to do a signature campaign for me in December
I stopped them. I'm just too grateful to them for standing by
me. Without them I don't know what I'd have done."
Shilpa gets more support from Bollywood
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, Jan 23 Even as the tormentor of Shilpa
Shetty has been voted out of British reality TV show "Celebrity
Big Brother", Bollywood is still rallying in her support.
Anupam Kher (a judge on "Zee Cine Stars"): To be called such
names is just not unparliamentary. It's appalling. I don't know
how it (was) allowed. Having said that I must say reality
television is all about grief... and that's the brief.
No, I never force tears out of the contestants on Zee Cine
Stars. But the tears don't hurt the TRPs. Shilpa went with her
eyes open. And look what her presence has done to the show! "Big
Brother" is being watched by everyone! I love the dignity with
which she handled herself. But governments getting into the game
show? Now that according to me is a bit too much!
Arshad Warsi (host of "Bigg Boss"): First of all, let me say
Shilpa is beautiful, articulate and very camera friendly. Hence
she was a sitting target for all the other inmates at "Big
I must say the show's format is about pushing each other over
the brink. When you go into "Big Brother" you're ready to face
this kind of behaviour. That's what the show is about. I'm proud
of Shilpa. If she's affecting them, it means she's better than
all of them in there.
Dino Morea: If they're calling Shilpa a "dog" or refusing to eat
the food cooked by her, it doesn't amount to racism, thought
that's bad enough. But if they're making snide references to her
skin colour and her accent and calling her "Paki" then I'm
afraid this is a serious issue, and we need to take very serious
note of it. I was offered the Indian version of "Big Brother"
but I refused "Bigg Boss".
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra: I think the show is being given too
Ekta Kapoor: It's amazing how she has maintained her dignity.
Hats off to her. I'd have given it back to those racial snobs so
hard they'd have been crying about discrimination.
Aryan Vaid: I've been on the Indian counterpart ("Bigg Boss").
Believe me, it's tough and its scary and scarring. The fact that
Shilpa's humiliation on "Big Brother" is being discussed in
British parliament shows the matter cannot be taken lightly.
But to make this an issue of 'us' against 'them' is slightly
premature. Let's not forget that in the "Big Brother" house
people resort to a lot of mind games... Everyone in there is
under a lot of pressure.
Simi Garewal: I don't believe any living creature should be
humiliated... and definitely not for public entertainment.
Still, I don't think Shilpa should walk out mid-game. I think
the channel should disallow racial slurs. But you know what?
This is going to be the trend now. Every country will have
reality shows just to win eyeballs. I only hope racial
discrimination doesn't become a TRP boosting device.