This news report is circulating around the world and has made an appearance on many website, including Voxy:
Perturbed Hindus are asking for immediate termination of New Zealand TV presenter and charging him with racism and xenophobia for reportedly ridiculing Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and New Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that reported making repeated fun of Sheila Dikshit’s last name was plain bigotry and was not acceptable. There was nothing to be laughed at “Dikshit” as it was a well-meaning word in Hinduism, which simply meant “initiated”.
Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, personal representative of New Zealand’s Head of State Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand, was born and raised in Auckland, attending Richmond Road School in Ponsonby, and Sacred Heart College in Glen Innes. He had been a Judge in a number of courts in the Auckland area, a Parliamentary Ombudsman and was awarded the New Zealand Commemoration Medal and made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for public services. How much more “proper and authentic” New Zealander one could be as reportedly questioned by presenter Paul Henry, asked Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism.
An official website media release dated October five quoted TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis as saying that Henry “does a magnificent job” and “is one of New Zealand’s best broadcasters” and “speaks his mind and that is what many New Zealanders like about him”. It seemed like the company was glorifying this presenter instead of being ashamed of his actions, Rajan Zed argued.
Zed stressed that freedom of speech never meant that one ridicule others for no other reason than their ethnicity. It seemed like a deliberate attempt to humiliate Hindus/minorities.
New Zealand Parliament refused to consider Zed’s request in 2008 to amend its prayer procedure/structure for making it more inclusive and universal. New Zealand was now a multicultural country where religion encompassed more than one tradition, and it included Anglicans, Catholics, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Spiritualists, etc., besides many with no religious affiliation and should be more accepting and welcoming, Rajan Zed pointed out.
The commentator Henry is reportedly a breakfast show host at state-owned channel TVNZ, which claims to be New Zealand’s leading television and digital media company “designed to foster a sense of national culture and identity” and its role is defined as “to reflect and explore what it means to be a New Zealander”. Sir John Anderson is Chairman of TVNZ Board.
New Zealand, a geographically isolated country in southwestern Pacific Ocean of the size of Colorado, is one of least crowded countries (population around 4.3 million) with beautiful landscape, which includes fjord-scarred shores, snowy peaks, and sheep dotted pastures. Food, beverages and tobacco are its largest exports. John Key is the Prime Minister.”
We’ve written often about New Zealand’s problem with xenophobia and racism, which it tries hard to keep under wraps from the outside world. For more blog posts about racism in New Zealand click this Link
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