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After Sam Pitroda, Adhir Chowdhury's 'we have Negrito' comment lands Congress in more trouble
'Racial' row
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

After Sam Pitroda, Adhir Chowdhury's 'we have Negrito' comment lands Congress in more trouble

| @indiablooms | 09 May 2024, 10:29 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: After Sam Pitroda's racial analogy to classify Indians from different parts, now Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury contributed to the stir on Thursday saying "we have Proto Australoids, Mongoloid, Negrito (in India)", referring to now-outdated racial and anthropological groupings of humankind.

"We have Proto Australoids, Mongoloids, (and) Negrito class of people. Hai to hai (It is how it is) ... in the demography of our country, regional features are different. What someone said (referring obliquely to Pitroda's comment) is his opinion..." Chowdhury said.

"But it is true some people are white...and some are dark," he went on to say.

Chowdhury's statement, seen as an attempt to defend Pitroda after his supposedly racist remarks, has received massive backlash from the Bharatiya Janata Party with Shehzad Poonawalla dredging up the row over the Bengal Congress chief's comments about President Droupadi Murmu in July 2022.

"It shows the words are from Sam Pitroda and the soch (way of thinking) is of the Congress. Calling Indians 'Negrito'... Is this justifying comments by Uncle Sam (a jibe at the United States-based Mr Pitroda)? Is this why they did not sack him? Will they sack Adhir... who in the past said 'rashtrapatni' for Droupadi Murmuji?" Poonawala slammed the Congress leader.

This comes a day after Congress veteran Sam Pitroda resigned from his post as overseas chairman of the party after creating a political storm with his 'diverse country' remarks classifying Indians on the basis of their appearances.

What did Sam Pitroda say?

Days after triggering a row with his inheritance remark, Sam Pitroda has classified Indians and their looks regionally.

Speaking to The Statesman, Pitroda said, "... diverse country... where people on East look like Chinese, people on West look like Arab, people on North look like maybe White and people in South look like Africa."

His comments were heavily criticised by the BJP leaders including PM Modi who attacked Rahul Gandhi, saying the country "won't tolerate disrespect based on the colour of skin". Cashing in on Sam Pitroda's comments 'people in south look like Africans',  PM Modi dared DMK chief MK Stalin to cut ties with its ally Congress.

Will MK Stalin "dare to cut ties with the Congress," the Prime Minister had questioned.

"They (the Congress) think people of northeast look like Chinese, South Indians look like Africans. I want to ask -- will the people accept comments like this? I want to ask Siddaramaiah -- is this ok? I want to ask the Telangana Chief Minister if he would accept. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who talks of Tamil culture. Will DMK have the courage to cut ties with the Congress for the sake of Tamil culture and heritage?" PM Modi had said.

"The leaders of the Congress have divisive thoughts. The Congress mindset is to see the country in pieces. This is why the Congress leaders refuse to consider it one country and talk of division," he had said.

Congress distances itself from Pitroda's remark

The Congress has distanced itself from Pitroda's remark stating it does not reflect the standpoint of the grand old party, which has been out of party for 10 years now.

Congress communications-in-charge Jairam Ramesh posted on X, "Mr Pitroda expresses his opinions freely on issues he feels strongly about. Surely, in a democracy an individual is at liberty to discuss, express, and debate his personal views.

"This does not mean that Mr. Pitroda's views always reflect the position of the Indian National Congress. Many times they do not. Sensationalising his comments now and tearing them out of context are deliberate and desperate attempts at diverting attention away from Mr. Narenda Modi's malicious and mischievous election campaign; that is anchored ONLY in lies and more lies."

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