Leaders resent racist remarks

Leaders of the Indian community have lodged complaints to a number of authorities over the comments made by the owner of a Wellington night club.

New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) President Harshad Patel and Secretary Prakash Biradar have written to the Ethnic Affairs Minister, Human Rights Commissioner, Race Relations Commissioner, New Zealand Police, Wellington City Council and Liquor Licencing Authority stating that the comments made by DJ Neill Andrews of Famous Night Club Wellington were deplorable and unacceptable.

Their letter followed a meeting of community leaders hosted by Auckland Indian Association President Ashok Darji at Mahatma Gandhi Centre on January 20. NZICA represents a majority of the Indian community.

Rights violated

“Mr Andrews violated Human Rights, deliberately discriminating against people based on colour, race, ethnicity and/or origin. Mr Andrews has offended the honour, dignity and sentiment of the Indian Community. We believe that Famous Night Club is a public place supplying goods and services to the people at large. As such, the offending behaviour and remarks of Mr Andrews tantamount to incitement of racial disharmony and constitute offensive behaviour,” they said in their letter.

Mr Andrews wrote the following on his Facebook on December 30, 2013 but deleted later:

“Just because we don’t let groups of creepy Indian rapists into the Club does not make us racist; they also do not buy alcohol. Probably so they can be sober to tie up the sack and lift the body into the back of their hybrid taxi, while wearing oversized leather jackets and sports shoes.”

Varying opinions

Since then, Mr Andrews has received comments in support of his post and against it from various people in the mainstream and social media.

The NZICA letter said that as New Zealand gets closer to India with a desire to increase the number of investors, businesses, international students and tourists, it is important to preserve, protect and promote the country’s image as a friendly, tolerant and harmonious destination.

“Incidents such as the one that occurred at the Famous Night Club and the insidious and outrageous comments made by its DJ would not help.”

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