winner Desai says she's been called "damned Paki" in Britain
DELHI, (AFP) - Indian-born Man Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai jumped
into the fray Friday over racist bullying in Britain, saying she
has been called a "damned Paki" in the country. Desai,
who won the 2006 British award for her novel "The Inheritance
of Loss," said the storm over alleged racism against Indian
actress Shilpa Shetty in a British TV reality show highlighted problems
Asians face in the West.
"I certainly have been walking the streets
of London and elsewhere in England and people have said 'Go back
to where you come from' or, you know, "You damned Paki,'"
US-based Desai told Times Now private television network.
"I don't know a single Indian to whom it has not happened.
"Anyone dark-skinned, basically from another
part of the world, faces this in the West and I think people don't
like to admit it because of this worry you will become what you
are called. "That's how racism operates and that is how they
get you ... it destroys your confidence and your dignity immediately,"
the novelist said.
Desai said the verbal attacks on Shetty by the
Bollywood actress's fellow contestants in the "Celebrity Big
Brother" show would promote dialogue about the issue of racism