Adhir Ranjan's 'We Have Negrito' Quip Lands Congress In More Trouble

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is the Congress’ Bengal chief (File).

New Delhi:

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury‘s “we have Proto Australoids… Mongoloid… Negrito (in India)” comment – referring to now-outdated racial and anthropological groupings of humankind – triggered a fresh row Thursday, a day after Sam Pitroda‘s “North Indians look like white (people)… South Indians look like Africans” remark spawned a furious pushback from the BJP and accusations of disrespecting Indians based on skin colour.

“We have Proto Australoids, Mongoloids, (and) Negrito class of people. Hai to hai (It is how it is) … in the demography of our country, regional features are different. What someone said (referring obliquely to Mr Pitroda’s comment) is his opinion…” Mr Chowdhury said.”But it is true some people are white…and some are dark.”

Mr Chowdhury’s statement – seen as an attempt to defend Mr Pitroda after his racist remarks – has been slammed by the BJP, with Shehzad Poonawalla also dredging up the row over the Bengal Congress boss’ comments about President Droupadi Murmu in July 2022. 

READ | Congress Leader’s Written Apology To President For ‘Rashtrapatni’ Remark

“It shows the words are from Sam Pitroda and the soch (way of thinking) is of the Congress. Calling Indians ‘Negrito’… Is this justifying comments by Uncle Sam (a jibe at the United States-based Mr Pitroda)? Is this why they did not sack him? Will they sack Adhir… who in the past said ‘rashtrapatni’ for Droupadi Murmuji?” Mr Poonawala raged.

The Congress has not yet responded to Mr Chowdhury’s comment.

On Wednesday an excerpt from Mr Pitroda’s interview with The Statesman was circulated online, in which he described India as a “… diverse country… where people in the East look like Chinese… people in the North look like, maybe, white (people) and people in the South look like Africans”.

READ | “South Indians Look Like Africans…”: Sam Pitroda Embarrasses Congress Again

The Congress distanced itself from the remark – which followed another equally controversial comment by Mr Pitroda about inheritance taxes – but not before it drew a furious response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said the country “won’t tolerate disrespect on the basis of the colour of skin”.

READ | PM’s Retort To Sam Pitroda’s Racist Flub, BJP Leaders’ ‘Look Indian’ Posts

Repeating his “shehzade (prince)” barb for Mr Gandhi, he said, “Shehzade, you will have to answer. The country will not tolerate the disrespect of our countrymen on the basis of the colour of skin…”

READ | Sam Pitroda Quits After Landing Congress In New Mess Over Racist Remark

Hours after the comment Mr Pitroda quit as chief of the Congress’ overseas unit. Party comms boss Jairam Ramesh said the resignation was “of his (Mr Pitroda’s) own accord”.

NDTV is now available on WhatsApp channels. Click on the link to get all the latest updates from NDTV on your chat.