London: Furious over controversial BBC
presenter Jeremy Clarkson mocking Indian culture during a
Christmas special programme while driving in India, senior
Labour MP Keith Vaz on Saturday demanded an apology.
The controversy seems to have even sucked in the 10
Indian origin Vaz said the BBC should be ashamed for
broadcasting gags about India that have evoked several
complaints and allegations of racism.
The controversial comments about India`s trains, toilets,
clothing, food and historywere made by Clarkson during the
Christmas special of Top Gear programme.
Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said:
"Mr Clarkson needs to stick to talking about cars, not
cultures. And he should apologise for his lack of taste. He
and the BBC have done India a great disservice with this
He added: "Some of the contents of the programme are
clearly offensive and not the least bit funny. They were
completely pointless. Mr Clarkson is not a comedian. He talks
about his cars and that is why he gets on the show. Why do him
and the BBC bother putting this out?"
Vaz also criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for
making a jokey cameo appearance in the programme.
The programme started with Clarkson standing outside 10
Downing Street with his co-hosts James May and Richard
They announced they were going to India on a "trade
mission" as "ambassadors of Britain" to save the UK from
Cameron then stepped out of No 10 and waved off Clarkson
and his co-hosts.
Cameron smiled while warning the trio of Top Gear hosts:
"Stay away from India".
An angry Vaz said: "David Cameron used his first Christmas
speech this year to stress how Britain needs to secure ties
"I think that`s all I need to say about his involvement in
A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister would
not comment on the controversy.
The BBC has confirmed receiving 23 complaints about
content "offensive to India" in the programme, which was
broadcast on Wednesday evening.
A BBC spokeswoman had said: "If viewers or religious
groups want to complain, they can complain to the BBC. We
won`t be responding through the media".