Article first published as New Zealand Journalistâ€™s Indecent Slur on Indian Chief Minister on Technorati.
Racism is still standing on strong roots around the world it seems. Several numbers of human rights’ organisations, international anti-racism promoting organisations and equality laws are there in the world, but are not able to curb the inhuman, indecent and vulgar attitudes of the vulgar people, even among the intellectual world.
Paul Henry, who hosts the Breakfast show on state-owned broadcaster TVNZ, has deliberately mispronounced the name of the Delhi Chief Minister Ms. Sheila Dikshit even after he was told by the lead anchor that it was pronounced like “Dixit.” Adding insult to the injury the racial protagonist Paul Henry went on to say, “her name is so appropriate because she is Indian.”
Adding more insult, the particular clip was promoted on the Video Extras section of TVNZ’s website under the tag “Paul Henry laughs about the name Dikshit.” After receiving at least four complaints about the clip, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on its website a day ago, the clip has been removed now.
Henry went on to produce his racial vulgarity ridiculing the New Zealand’s Indo-Fijian Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand right in the conversation with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key. Paul Henry asked the Prime Minister whether Anand was a New Zealander or not, and whether the PM was going to pick someone who looked more like a New Zealander next time.
New Zealand Indian Central Association president Paul Singh Bains said, promoting the clip on TVNZ’s website meant that TVNZ had totally lost the plot and was insensitive to the offence caused by Henry. Bains added that Henry had an attitude about Indians and all other ethnicities for that matter. “If we sound different, if we look different, he thinks there’s no place for us in New Zealand,” Bains said.
Bains was perfectly right when he said TVNZ has totally lost the plot, because it had initially defended the Satyanand row by saying Henry was popular because he was prepared to say the things they quietly think but were scared to say aloud. The TVNZ official, who made the comment, was reported to have admitted on Wednesday that she made a horrendous error of judgment and offered her resignation.
Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna summoned New Zealand high commissioner Rupert Holborow on Thursday to protest against racial remarks handing him a demarche. Later Rupert said that the TV comments were "culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar." He added the views are of only one media commentator but not of the New Zealand or its people. But the apology should have been offered by the New Zealand government even before the envoy was summoned.
It is understood that Mr Henry is kept under suspension for his unacceptable racial remarks as per Reuters.