Celebrity doctor Ranj Singh has called out this year’s British Curry Awards for its lack of Asian representation and for letting a white presenter deliver a racist joke targeting Indians.
Singh, 43, attended the prestigious award show, also known as the “Curry Oscars,” in London as a guest on Monday night. The “This Morning” star tweeted about an issue after the ceremony, noting that he and others felt uncomfortable with how the event went.
Singh thanked the organization behind the annual event for “doing their best to celebrate our Asian community” before writing, “However, when the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white, are we really representing our community fairly?”
“And to top it off we have a racist joke on stage, and are auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill, whose relationship with India (and Bengali people specifically) is problematic?” he continued.
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Many critics hold Churchill responsible for the deaths of around 4 million people during the Bengal famine of 1943. The late British prime minister also once said that Indians are “beastly people with a beastly religion.”
In another tweet, Singh shared a paraphrased version of the racist joke delivered by a white presenter during the event, writing, “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Singh did not give further details about who delivered the joke, but he clarified in a follow-up tweet that it was not Hugh Dennis, the event’s host. Paul Sagoo OBE, CEO of The Lemon Group, replied to one of Singh’s tweets to comfort the TV star, telling him that “we have much bigger battles to fight. Don’t let this get to you.” In his reply, Singh wrote that fighting “racist and outdated stereotypes” should not be one of the bigger battles their community has to fight, “especially at events around us.”
“It is not up to us to apologize, make allowances for, or educate the people that do this. But it is up to us to call it out,” Singh continued.