Posts Tagged ‘Reporter’

Sheila Dikshit

In yet another unfortunate incident for Delhi and India, racial remarks on Delhi CM, Sheila Dikshit by a popular New Zealand TV anchor has sparked protests. Sheila has been in news after being asked last month to take charge of the floundering Commonwealth Games preparations.

The leading channel of New Zealand, TVNZ, faced criticism after its breakfast show host Paul Henry mispronounced Dikshit, despite being told by the lead anchor that it is said like “Dixit”. Though, he did not stop there. The anchor repeatedly made statements like “It’s so appropriate, because she’s Indian. I’ve known about her for a while and I’ve been laughing ever since”.

The remarks sparked indignation both in New Zealand and in India. India’s Foreign Ministry summoned the New Zealand High Commissioner last week to register a formal protest. New Zealand’s Government apologized for the remarks, describing them as ‘culturally insensitive and vulgar’. “They reflect the views of only one media commentator (who has already been censored for other racist and unacceptable comments), and certainly not the New Zealand Government or people,” said New Zealand High Commissioner Rupert Holborow.

India though cannot accept such misbehavior. External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had said “This kind of remark is highly unacceptable.” Reacting to the derogatory attack, the chief minister in question told that it was for the Government of India and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to raise the issue with the New Zealand Government. Personally, she took it in her stride.

Paul Henry

The remarks had gone unnoticed until TVNZ included the footage in its website’s highlights section. Since then, it had been viewed more than 300,000 times on After the controversy, TVNZ said that “the video of Henry attacking Dikshit” has been removed from our website. The channel’s complaint committee will consider whether there has been a breach of the standards set out by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

However, the anchor seemed to be in no mood to apologize even after a row of protests. He announced his resignation and declared that it was not practical for him to do the job in the current type of environment. “I am astonished and dismayed that my comments have created a diplomatic incident. My style is conversational and of course unscripted. I walk the finest of lines and accept that I have inadvertently crossed it from time to time” he added. Also, the chief executive of TVNZ, Rick Ellis, commended Henry’s decision to resign and said that his comments split the community and damaged New Zealand’s international relationships.

Prominent statistics say that there are more than 100,000 New Zealanders of Indian ethnic origin, almost 3% of the population, the second largest immigrant group in New Zealand from Asia after China. But inspite of this majority share of Indians, they were targeted by the same media person, making the case intolerable. This not for the first time that Paul Henry is into on-air gaffes. Most recently, Indian origin Governor General of New Zealand, Anand Satyanand became the target of Henry. “Is he even a New Zealander,” the TV presenter had questioned Prime Minister John Key. For this, he had to apologize and was suspended for two weeks.

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