Delhi state Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit

Perturbed Hindus are asking for the immediate sack of New Zealand TV presenter and that he be charged  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), said that 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” could a New Zealander be,  asked Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, yet his identity was questioned by presenter Paul Henry.

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 could 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.


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