Bipasha Basu upset with racial discrmination faced in Britain

An incident of racial abuse faced by Bipasha Basu in Britain has left her horrified. The actress says the Asian community should not take these incidents lying down.
"It really happened, I'm afraid," Bipasha told IANS.

With a shudder, the actress remembers the incident: "During the shooting of 'Goal', Arshad Warsi and I were waiting at a signal at the location. At the red light, two white guys dressed really weirdly leaned out of the car window and started rapping out the most disgusting racist song. That was their unique way of insulting us."

Bipasha said she had never felt more humiliated as a human being, woman and celebrity.

"It took me a while to understand what was happening. Arshad and I just kept looking at each other in helpless amazement as their song went on and on. And mind you, this was in the most densely populated Asian locality in Southall."

"They called us Pakis and many dirty things. The insult was targeted more at me as their lewd song was more girl-driven," she added.

Bipasha was horrified to learn that such attacks are considered normal among Asians in Britain. "They said, it's nothing to get alarmed about. 'Welcome to the UK'," she said.

"How can any community or people accept such humiliation lying down? I've been subjected to improper behaviour and I've retaliated with vengeance. Even when I used to travel by auto I've slapped men who've behaved badly with me."

Claming that she is no stranger to discrimination and bias, the actress said, "In India, dark-skinned girls are subjected to taunts and pity. In the matrimonial columns people still want a fair bride.

"And such bias isn't restricted to anyone class or community in this country. Even in the most affluent family the birth of a baby boy is celebrated, and if he's fair-skinned then wow!

"I'm dark-skinned and when I'm without makeup people actually try to make me feel good by saying, 'Arrey aap to itni gori hain. Screen pe itni kaali dikhti hain!' Please, main gori nahin hoon. Let's get that very clear."

The mindsets on discrimination are changing, and Bipasha is proud to be a part of that change.

She said, "On my website women objected so strongly when a men's fairness cream was launched. They wrote directly to me to say how much confidence I had given them by being dark-skinned and yet successful. I feel, as a celebrity I can make a difference in the way we perceive people outside our gender or social circle.

"After I lost a lot of weight and started looking after myself, so many girls consulted my website about staying healthy, not about looking good or getting into an hour-glass shape, mind you. But just being well. I feel every actor needs to be responsible in his or her conduct. Because people love us for who we are. We can't afford to let them down," she added.

Indo-Asian News Service