“India is not a country of rapists”, German ambassador to India writes to professor

India is not a country of rapists, German ambassador to India writes to professor “Let’s be clear: India is not a country of rapists”, Michael Steiner, the ambassador from the embassy of the German Republic in New Delhi, has written in a strongly worded letter to Dr Annette Beck-Sickinger, after an Indian male student claimed that the professor at the University of Leipzig in Germany denied him an internship because of the “the rape problem in India”.

Stating that “I strongly object to this”, the ambassador has written, “Rape is indeed a serious issue in India as in most countries, including Germany” and that “The Indian Government and Indian civil society organisations are very committed to tackling the issue.”

He further adds that the professor’s “oversimplifying and discriminating generalization is an offense to these women and men ardently committed to furthering women empowerment in India; and it is an offense to millions of law-abiding, tolerant, open-minded and hard-working Indians.”

The incident of an Indian student being denied an internship, because of the “the rape problem in India”, by a professor in a German University came to light when a person claiming to be the student’s friend uploaded screen shots on Quora , of two emails sent by professor Annette G. Beck-Sickinger of Biochemistry and Bio-organic Chemistry.

In an exclusive response to The News Minute, Professor Annette Beck-Sickinger, did not deny the email exchange, but said it was taken out of context.

“Unfortunately this mail was a misunderstanding. Of course I have nothing against male Indians and I have accepted several Indian students in the past. However my lab is full and I currently cannot take any student. This led to an unpleasant discussion with one of the Indian student. I apologize if this caused any misunderstanding, but the e-Mail was taken out of the context, ” she told TNM via email.

The Quora user has also said that when the friend questioned this decision, the professor replied saying, it is ‘unbelievable that the Indian society is not able to solve this problem (of rape) for many years now”.

Read – Indian student claims German professor denied internship over ‘rape culture’, professor responds

The ambassador in his letter while addressing Professor Annette said that her “oversimplifying and discriminating generalization was offensive to men and women committed to furthering women empowerment in India” and also added that “India is not a country of rapists.”

Here is the full text of the letter from the German Embassy.

Dear Professor Beck-Sickinger,

It has been brought to my attention that you denied an internship to a male Indian student, giving “the rape problem in India” as a reason. Let me make it clear at the outset that I strongly object to this.

The 2012 Nirbhaya rape case has refocused attention on the issue of violence against women. Rape is indeed a serious issue in India as in most countries, including Germany. In India, the Nirbhaya case has triggered a lively honest, sustained and very healthy public debate – a public debate of a quality that wouldn’t be possible in many other countries. The Indian Government and Indian civil society organisations are very committed to tackling the issue.

Yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day at the German Embassy here in Delhi with many local activists including many men. Your oversimplifying and discriminating generalization is an offense to these women and men ardently committed to furthering women empowerment in India; and it is an offense to millions of law-abiding, tolerant, open-minded and hard-working Indians. Let’s be clear: India is not a country of rapists.

I would encourage you to learn more about the diverse, dynamic and fascinating country and the many welcoming and open-minded people of India so that you could connect a simplistic image, which – in my opinion – is particularly unsuitable for a professor and teacher.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Steiner

Source: The News Minute

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