"are we really representing the community fairly?"
Dr Ranj Singh highlighted the lack of Asian representation at the 2022 British Curry Awards.
The 18th annual awards were held on November 28, 2022, at Evolution London, Battersea Park.
Curry restaurants from all over the UK were honoured, as voted for by the British public.
The event was a success and it saw the likes of Nina Wadia and Dr Ranj Singh attend.
However, TV medic Dr Ranj urged the British Curry Awards to “do better” over its lack of Asian representation, pointing out that “the entire judging panel, host, and even most of the performers” were white.
In a series of tweets, Dr Ranj admitted that he felt “uncomfortable at the ceremony.
He also said a piece by Winston Churchill was also auctioned off which was inappropriate given his “problematic” relationship with India and Bengali people specifically.
Dr Ranj tweeted: “I cannot stay silent…
“Dear British Curry Awards… please, let’s talk about this.
“I’m not berating you as I know you have good intentions and are doing your best. And you have raised so much for charity. But we are better than this.”
Included in the tweet was a lengthy post about the lack of Asian representation at the awards.
The statement read: “I have to say something because I’m not the only person that felt uncomfortable.
“And if we don’t say anything, things will never change.
“I was honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest for the British Curry Awards.
“Firstly, thank you to this brilliant organisation for doing their best to celebrate our Asian community.
“However, when the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white and the performers on stage are over 90% white, are we really representing the 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?
“We are better than this. We are magnificent people. We have done so much and still have so much to offer. Let’s do better together.”
Dr Ranj was praised for raising such an issue, with many agreeing with his comments.
I cannot stay silent…
Dear @BritCurryAwards… please, let’s talk about this.
I’m not berating you as I know you have good intentions and are doing your best. And you have raised so much for charity.
— Ranj Singh (@DrRanj) November 29, 2022
Author Sophie Heawood questioned the regressive attitude.
She said: “The judging panel at the British Curry Awards is entirely white? That is – I can’t believe it. STILL?”
Another user said:
“I was gonna say! How is it possible that the entire org is 90% white?!”
Dr Ranj also criticised a racist joke that was made on stage.
One of the guest presenters had said on stage:
“How come India doesn’t have a team at the World Cup?
“Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
And here’s the offending clip…
— Gavin Ramjaun (@GavinROfficial) November 30, 2022
Social media users agreed that the joke “perpetuated racist and outdated stereotypes”.
One user said: “It wasn’t funny when they used it in the 70s but nowadays it’s a pathetic attempt at being edgy that is just racist.”
TV presenter Rav Wilding said: “Ranj that’s just made me so angry. That’s not ok at all.”
Pointing out some audience members laughed at the ‘joke’, one person commented:
“It’s wrong to reply with humour when there are some important takeaways to be recognised.”