"I’ve “NEVER” read these books(@ the cost of soundin even dumber!)"
Bollywood actress, and former winner of Celebrity Big Brother, Shilpa Shetty has been trolled online after misinterpreting George Orwell’s classic satire Animal Farm as teaching young readers to ‘love and care for animals’.
The hilarious and slightly worrying blunder came after Shilpa gave an interview with The Mumbai Times. The popular newspaper asked Shetty about her views on a new and improved reading syllabus for Indian schoolchildren.
Shilpa mentioned the importance of including popular characters from the likes of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings as they would encourage creativity and imagination in young readers.
However, Shetty then gave away her limited understanding of the dark, dystopian novel, Animal Farm by misinterpreting it as a positive children’s book that encourages animal welfare.
Read Shilpa’s full quote in The Mumbai Times here:
“I think having books like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter as part of the syllabus is a great move because it cultivates imagination and creativity at a young age. I think books like Little Women would also encourage respect towards women at a young age.
“Even Animal Farm should be included as it will teach the little ones to love and care for animals.”
Animal Farm is actually a political satire written about the 1917 Russian Revolution. Published in 1945 by George Orwell, the author himself described the novel as a ‘satirical tale against Stalin’.
While the book does revolve around animal characters, it details a communist rule that goes wrong as the animals are encouraged to live by the mantra: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Social media has been awash with trolls mocking Shilpa for her confusion, even coining the hashtag #ShilpaShettyReviews which began trending in India. Many users decided to review other famous book titles in a hilarious way:
"Fifty Shades of Grey is an amazing coloring book.Children will love it"#ShilpaShettyReviews
— Fats (@a_bit_too_much) November 28, 2016
The Hunger Games is a great series on Karwa Chauth. #ShilpaShettyReviews
— Nirwa Mehta (@nirwamehta) November 28, 2016
"The Fault In Our Stars" is a book where two tragic lovers can't marry because their kundlis didn't match. #ShilpaShettyReviews
— Sholay Kid (@Ayamang) November 28, 2016
“The Hobbit is good. All children should develop good hobbits.” #ShilpaShettyReviews
— Harish Iyengaar (@scaryhairyman) November 28, 2016
The Great Expectations is a book about an Indian Girl and her Mother in law. #shilpashettyreviews
— theguywiththebook (@theGwiththeB) November 28, 2016
It is clear that Shilpa’s innocent gaffe has not gone unnoticed by social media users.
Many have also picked up on the irony of Shilpa not being aware of George Orwell’s famous book, especially after she appeared on the reality TV show, Big Brother, which is also taken from one of Orwell’s other dystopian novels, 1984.
Shilpa Shetty has since defended herself on Twitter saying:
“Whilst I admire the writers of LOTR, Harry Potter & Animal Farm I’ve “NEVER” read these books(@ the cost of soundin even dumber!)Not my kind.
“..So recommending them to kids is out of the question! Obviously some misunderstanding..Don’t want to get into it.This too shall pass.”
With Shilpa Shetty admitting that she has never read any of these books, she hopes that her error will pass over soon. Untl then, the hashtag #ShilpaShettyReviews will surely continue.