Fury after TV presenter ‘mocks Indian culture’
OUTSPOKEN TV personality Jeremy Clarkson has once again been accused of racism, after mocking Indian culture in a Top Gear Christmas special.
Viewers were furious after Clarkson staged a series of Carry On- style digs at that country’s clothing, trains, toilets, food and history.
At one point, the controversial presenter ridiculed the unhygienic conditions and lack of sanitation among the poor by driving around the slums in a Jaguar fitted with a toilet.
Showing off the car’s convenience, he boasted: “This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots.”
A BBC spokesman said there had been 23 complaints about content “offensive to India” in the programme, broadcast on Wednesday evening. She added if viewers or religious groups wanted to complain, “they can complain to the BBC”.
“We won’t be responding through the media.”
But many viewers took straight to social networks and internet message boards to voice their objections about the show, in which the Top Gear team set out to boost British trade links with the subcontinent.
On Twitter, viewers branded Clarkson a “Nazi”, and dismissed the programme as “casual racism”.
Twitter user Joseph Rivera wrote: “Top Gear officially sucks. What a bunch of racist b******s.”
And Owen Hathway tweeted: “What’s wrong with the BBC that they think casual racist stereotyping is acceptable on Top Gear?”
In one scene on the programme, Jeremy Clarkson was seen stripping off his trousers in front of two Indian dignitaries to show them how to use a trouser press.
In another shocking setpiece, the Top Gear team put banners promoting British industry on trains. One read: “British IT is good for your company”, and another, “Eat English muffins”.
But the messages turned obscene when the carriages of the trains split.
Adding insult to injury, the latest programme was shown just two days after the murder of Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford on Boxing Day.
Raj Dhutta, of the Manchester Indian Association, said the timing of the show was ‘'tasteless” so soon after Bidve’s killing, which police are treating as a hate crime.
“The show itself was also tasteless,” he added.
It is not the first time this year Top Gear has been embroiled in a racism row.
Earlier this year co-presenter Richard Hammond made an insulting parody of Mexicans to describe a Mexican sports car.
Hammond suggested the vehicle reflected the national characteristics of its country of origin.
To wit, “a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus, with a blanket with a hole in the middle as a coat”.
He also described Mexican food as “refried sick”. Co-presenter James May ventured it was “like sick with cheese on it”. – Daily Mail
‘RACIST’: Jeremy Clarkson