EastEnders star Gurlaine Kaur Garcha shaken after racist abuse which ‘came from nowhere’

"I am proud to be British. I am proud that my grandparents were born in Punjab. I am proud that my parents were born in Kenya. And I am proud to be Sikh. I celebrate all these things. I wish others did too." - Gurlaine Kaur Garch

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Eastenders star Gurlaine Kaur Garcha (Photo: BBC)
By Asia Samachar | BRITAIN |

British soap opera EastEnders star Gurlaine Kaur Garcha was left shocked and speechless when she came face to face with verbal racial abuse.

The actress – who plays Ash Panesar in the BBC soap – shared her horror and fears after the incident earlier this week.

Her outpouring shows how deep is the cut from verbal racial abuse. And this is coming from someone who is highly trained in Tae Kwon Do, boxing and kick boxing and was European Champion for Tae Kwon Do.

After bottling up it initially, she decided that she could not let is pass. She poured her heart out in an Instagram posting.

“It came from nowhere, I wasn’t expecting it, and even though I know racism exists and I could always be victim to it, it was still deeply deeply shocking. In a completely unprovoked attack, I was told by a woman to go back home, to return to wherever I’ve come from, and to stay there.

“The initial shock was that someone was so comfortable to say this to me in public, not once but several times. It made me feel angry, sad, and embarrassed. It upset me, and as a result of being upset I felt weak. I was ashamed that I wasn’t able to just brush it off and continue with my day as normal.

“Instead what followed were tears of sadness and frustration. How can someone be allowed to say something so racially driven and then walk away? Why do I then have to deal with all the feelings that come with it? Why do I have to tell myself to stay calm and not to retaliate? And why do I have to be the one left crying?

“It seems so unfair that I am judged by the colour of skin. My thoughts and feelings of fear weren’t just about that moment, but about a future where my children, nieces and nephews will have to face the same discrimination and hate. My heart sinks that deep down I know this won’t be the last time I experience something like this.

“Initially I wasn’t going to say anything, but waking up this morning and feeling burdened with the same sadness from the day before, I realised that by speaking out it may help someone who has experienced the same, and make them realise they’re not alone.

“When will racism end?

“I am proud to be British. I am proud that my grandparents were born in Punjab. I am proud that my parents were born in Kenya. And I am proud to be Sikh. I celebrate all these things. I wish others did too.”

 

RELATED STORY:

Racism: The apples don’t fall far from the tree (Asia Samachar, 16 April 2021)

 

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

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