Outraged over racial remarks against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on New Zealand’s prime news channel, India today summoned its High Commissioner Rupert Holborow and issued a “strong” demarche demanding “demonstrative action“’ against the TV anchor.
On his part, Mr Holborow conveyed deep regret for the hurt caused by the comments of the media commentator which he characterized as “culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar and certainly not the views of the Government of New Zealand”, according to a foreign office statement here.
The anchor Paul Henry, who had earlier made a racial slur against Indian-origin Governor-General of New Zealand Sir Anand Satyanand for which he was already suspended, had deliberately twisted Dikshit’s name to make fun of her.
Taking strong exception to this, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna directed the ministry to convey India’s unhappiness over the “unacceptable remarks” of the anchor to Mr Holborow.
According to sources, the High Commissioner met Secretary East in Ministry of External Affairs Vijaya Latha Reddy, who conveyed India’s strong protest.
“It was conveyed to him (Holborow) that the Government strongly and unequivocally denounces the racist remarks of the journalist in question. It is shocking that such bigoted views have been aired by representative of a mainstream media organization of a multiethnic democracy like New Zealand,” the statement said.
“These remarks are totally unacceptable to India and should be condemned by all right thinking people and nations.
It is hoped that the Government of New Zealand would take immediate demonstrative action against the said individual to send out a clear signal that such behavior is totally unacceptable,” it said.
Besides conveying the deep regret for the hurt caused by the comments of the media commentator, Mr Holborow also acknowledged the vital contribution of the Delhi Chief Minister to the Commonwealth Games.
The Indian High Commissioner in New Zealand had also suitably taken up this matter with the Government of New Zealand, the statement said.
Keywords: racial issue