Indian groups in US criticise Senator Allen

Senator from Virginia was slammed for his offensive comments against a young political activist belonging to the community.
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Updated on Aug 16, 2006 11:30 AM IST
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None | ByPress Trust of India, Washington

Organisations in the US representing Indians have criticised a Republican Senator from Virginia for his offensive comments against a young political activist belonging to the community even as the lawmaker was defended by the Indian American Republican Council.

At a campaign rally in southwest Virginia on Friday, George Allen pointed to 20-year-old student S R Sidarth working for his Democrat rival and repeatedly referred to him as "macaca", also used for a monkey.

The Indian American Leadership Initiative slammed his "demeaning" comments against the student.

"It is unacceptable that Senator Allen used a racial slur to refer to a twenty-year old native Virginian of Indian descent. Senator Allen needs to explain himself, and he owes the Indian American community an apology," president Jay Chaudhuri said in a statement.

The United States India Political Action Committee also joined the fray, expressing "deep concern and disappointment" of Allen's racially charged comments and demanded that the Virginia law maker issue an apology to the Indian American community at large.

"At this time in American history, we are not simply offended by this disrespectful dialogue but greatly concerned about this ideology shown by a leader in the Republican Party," the USINPAC said in a statement.

However, the Indian American Republican Council jumped to Allen's support, saying his Democratic political opponent Jim Webb was using an Indian volunteer in a "demeaning fashion" to garner support for his political campaign.

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