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Shilpa Shetty apologizes for using the term ‘bhangi’

An old interview by Shetty recently resurfaced on social media. In it she had used the word to describe how she looks at home.

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Our Correspondent

Actress-businesswoman Shilpa Shetty Kundra has apologized for her ‘bhangi’ comment that sparked a row last week and led to an FIR (first information report) being filed against her.

Shetty posted her apology in the form of a couple of tweets. The term 'bhangi' is a pejorative word used earlier to refer to members of a community who were traditionally confined by societal norms to menial tasks such as sweeping, cleaning and scavenging. The community now calls itself Valmikis or Balmikis.

“Some of my words from an interview in the past have been misinterpreted," Shetty said on her Twitter account. "It was never said with the intent of hurting anyone’s feelings... I apologize if they have. I’m proud to belong to a country that boasts of diverse castes and creeds and I respect each one of them.” 

In the interview, Shetty had remarked that "I look like a bhangi at home”.

Along with her, superstar Salman Khan had also come in for criticism for using the word to describe one of his dance steps: “Main toh bhangi lag raha hoon yaar isme [I look like a bhangi performing this step].” 

The comment had sparked violent protests in Rajasthan by a group representing the Valmikis and some single-screen theatres showing his latest release, Tiger Zinda Hai, were attacked. An FIR was also filed against Khan. So far, the actor has not reacted to the controversy.