Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands has apologised to the Indian community in Australia for his offending comments that saw an outburst of protest.
Indian communities were outraged at the radio show host who described the Indian river Ganga as ‘junkyard’ and India as ‘shit hole’.
Indian leaders sought apology from radio host Kyle Sandilands, Sydney’s radio station “2dayFM 104.1″ and its owner “Southern Cross Austereo” for ridiculing their sacred river Ganga and India.
The alleged comments were made in a recent “Kyle and Jackie O Show” at “2dayFM 104.1″.
People in Varanasi, where the scared river is worshipped, in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh protested against the radio station.
A community group called Vishal Bharat Sansthan had organised the protest, Australian Sky News reported.
The radio’s general manager, Adam Lang, has since apologized for the comments and said: “The offence was not intended but that consequence is absolutely accepted and we do sincerely apologise.
“Kyle has apologized on air yesterday morning saying….“I’m apologizing….Anyone that’s Indian that listens to this show knows that I love Indians….I just made the mistake that the river which, to me, looks polluted, I said it was a junkyard and did not realize that it was holy.
“In the case of Kyle’s remarks, they were directed toward the water quality of the river rather than the spiritual significance of the Ganga to so many people and their religious practices.
Considering the apology a “step in the right direction”, Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested that “2dayFM 104.1″ and its owner “Southern Cross Austereo” should put in policies and procedures in place, assuring the hurt community that this kind of denigration would not happen in the future.
However, there was a strong opinion in the Indian community in Australia for the Indian government to take steps to clean the sacred river.
“It is easy to express outrage against a foreigner,” says Sudeep Mishra, who lives in Melbourne. “We all know how dirty the river is. Kyle has only spoken the truth. It’s high time officials took note of reality and cleaned up the filthy river.”
Another reader, Singapore-based Shumita Mistry, says: “I have been to the Ganga river in Varanasi, and I can tell you that what the radio jockey said is not far from truth. I did not have the courage to go near the river.”