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Glamsham protects Bollywood actress over anti-African slur

By The Ligali Organisation | Mon 24 July 2006

Racist anti-African comments made by Indian actress Rimi Sen are propagated by Indian film website Glamsham and Yahoo India.


In an interview with Nithin Sethi published by the Indian film publication Glamsham, Bollywood actress Rimi Sen spoke about her current film "Golmaal" (Hanky Panky) and stated;

“I play a sweet and beautiful girl in the film. The best thing that I like about the film is that though it has four heroes, I am the only heroine. Rohit Shetty is amazing as a director. He can make even a black African look pretty”.

Sen’s comments are said to reflect the fact that many in South Asia subscribe to an ideology that believes people with lighter skin and eurocentric physical features are superior to those with darker skin and African aesthetics. Her outrageous comments which have no bearing on the content of the film have attracted criticism from both African and Asian commentators.

PickledPolitics.com the blogging arm of the Asian in Media website has challenged the publication of the bollywood actresses quote and wrote; “It is common knowledge that Bollywood and Indians in general are obsessed about fair skin, but this sort of racism takes the biscuit. It’s more surprising that Glamsham printed the quote and Yahoo India carried it. Their policy is clear about not carrying racist material”

The Asian website Radio Sargam has also responded and states; “The respectability of online Bollywood websites once again comes to attention, with questions being raised against the interviewer Nithin Sethi, and the website itself – Glamsham.Com. How come such a remark was published…”

Women of Orissa, India: Courtesy of Runoko Rashidi/African by Nature


Attempting to mask the truth

Glamsham who have not issued a press release on the matter has now responded to the issue by altering the article to read; "Rohit Shetty is amazing as a director. He can make anyone look pretty".

Nonetheless despite their attempts to mask their offensive anti-African editorial policies, Sen’s original comments have been replicated on websites such as Yahoo India and the Himalayan Times.

Radio Sargam has stated that they would like “Glamsham to apologise for publishing this interview and print a formal retraction [to African people]. If this is not done, then we will continue to believe, that Glamsham are happy with the views expressed by Rimi Sen”.


External Links
Yahoo India - Rohit Shettys GOLMAAL is a situational comedy
Glamsham - Rohit Shettys GOLMAAL is a situational comedy
Pickled Politics – Oh. My. God.
Radiosargam - Rimi Sen calls black Africans ugly
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights


Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites



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Should non racist Asian audiences boycott the film in protest to the anti-African views of actress Rimi Sen?
Click here to speak out and share your perspective on this article.
"Untouchability" and caste discrimination continue to be a brutal reality for more than 160 million Dalits living in India today, despite the fact that more than half a century has passed since India was born as a "democratic" and independent state.

The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

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We have been long aware of the system of caste discrimination and associated anti-African sentiment that permeates Asian culture. It is therefore unsurprising that a bollywood actress would hold such views. However we agree as some of the more proactive Asian sites have suggested, that the culpability for the publication of these anti-African comments lies with both the interviewer Nithin Sethi and the website Glamsham.

However the fact that the majority of readers saw Remi Sen’s comments as acceptable for publication has exposed how normalised anti-African ideology is within bollywood and its audiences. It is unlikely that her racist comments will hinder her career or that of the journalist and media organisation that published this anti-African statement.

We can only hope that more Asian people follow the lead of those Asian trailblazers who are working to stamp out racism in both the public and private sphere of their community. We can only call on bollywood directors and producers to give celluloid support and prominence to the mission of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR).This group is part of a wider struggle to abolish "untouchability" and to "cast out caste".

They state that; "Untouchability" and caste discrimination continue to be a brutal reality for more than 160 million Dalits living in India today, despite the fact that more than half a century has passed since India was born as a "democratic" and independent state.

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