When 12-year-old Ananya Vinay won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US, she made Indians around the world very proud.
Ananya and another Indian-American Rohan Rajeev faced each other in the final round last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in Maryland. Ananya won on the word “marocain”, a fabric.
Naturally, television channels started interviewing her. But when international news channel CNN decided to interview the 12-year-old, you didn’t have to think twice before knowing that this reeks of racism.
“…It is a nonsense word but we’re not sure that its root is in Sanskrit which is probably what you’re used to…”
‘Covfefe’ is a nonsense word but we’re not sure that its root is in Sanskrit — which is probably what you’re used to.Alisyn Camerota
There are so many things wrong with the statement above that we’ll need a minute to organise our thoughts.
(read the rest on huffingtonpost)
Update: US lawmakers flay CNN anchor over remarks on Indian-American spelling bee champion
Two US lawmakers have criticised a CNN anchor for allegedly “otherising” Indian-American national spelling champion+ Ananya Vinay by assuming that the 12-year-old is “used to using” Sanskrit due to her heritage, saying the US needs to get educated about Hinduism and India.
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Hindu Congressman Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at the anchors for playing into stereotypes. “It’s disappointing that a segment which should have honoured the accomplishments of Vinay instead other-ised her and the Indian-American community by playing into stereotypes,” Indian-American Congressman from Illinois Krishnamoorthi said.
This is “Further evidence of the need for America in general, and CNN in particular, to get educated about Hinduism & India,” said Tulsi Gabbard, the Hindu Congresswoman from Hawaii.
“CNN should be embarrassed: Anchor assumes American spelling bee champ must be “used to using” Sanskrit. Do Italian-Americans use Latin?” wrote eminent journalist Indira Lakshmanan.
The sixth-grader had correctly spelled the word ‘marocain’ and became the 13th consecutive winner from the Indian-American community at the annual spelling bee championship.
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