Snubbing Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar without naming him for his recent lose comments about Nigerians and calling it “unfortunate”, former Union Minister of State for External Affairs Eduardo Faleiro on Friday said that India helped African students not for the fun of it but because “we want future leadership in Africa to be good and favourable to India.”
Speaking at the release of his book, “ Public Matters ,” a compilation of his speeches in Parliament and Goa Assembly during his over 30-year political career, the senior Congressman said, “We help them because it is an investment in Africa, which would give maximum return to our country in future. China has done that.”
It is good for us, good for them
“African students coming to India is good for us and good for them, we should welcome them,” Mr. Faleiro said.
“ It is unfortunate to say Goans don’t like Nigerians. Some particular Nigerian boys have done something wrong, take action, but don’t single out a nationality,” he said.
‘Even Israelis do drugs’
As regards drug trade in Goa, he said many Israelis who come as tourists do it much more. But again punish those who indulge in crime, do not single out nationalities and generalise.
“Unfortunately we are racist, something must be done to combat the racialism in us,” he lamented recalling earlier incidents in some parts of the country people from North Eastern parts of the country were teased racially, referring to their eyes.
Don’t single out a country: Pratapsingh Rane
Earlier, speaking at the same function, senior Congress leader and Opposition Leader in Goa Legislative Assembly Pratapsingh Rane also took exception to remarks made by the Chief Minister.
“It is not correct to single out a country or nationality for actions of some persons. A law breaker is a law breaker, a nationality is never a law breaker,” said Mr. Rane who has been Chief Minister of the State and Speaker in the past. He said he was shocked to hear the comments “where you single out and name a nation, and blame them as trouble makers”.
‘Be careful of what to talk’
“This is not right. We have so many people in so many countries. Therefore we should be very careful about what we say, I feel,” Mr. Rane said and cautioned that media being very powerful today, anything said “goes all over the world” within no time.
AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh earlier released the book and lauded Mr. Faleiro as a great diplomat, statesman and parliamentarian who had done the country proud.