German professor’s response to rape issue in India causes online fury
A German university professor recently rejected an Indian male student’s application, citing the “rape problem in India” as the main reason, went viral this Sunday.
The controversy grew to such an extent that German ambassador to India Michael Stiener had to act urgently and issue a stern warning to the professor, reprimanding her for the letter. The German professor responded back with an apology which was subsequently posted on the German embassy’s website. The professor’s reply, which was posted on a social media website by the name of Quora, read “Dear Sir, Unfortunately I don’t accept any Indian male students for internships. We hear a lot about the rape problem in India which I cannot support. I have many female students in my group, so I think this attitude is something I cannot support.” Another email quoted the professor stating: “Many female professors in Germany decided to no longer accept Indian male students for these reasons, and currently other European female associations are joining.”
And then here’s how the German embassy made it known to the world that the University of Leipzig had apologized for the professor’s remarks. A note on their website read: “Ambassador Michael Steiner takes note that the University of Leipzig has just announced publicly that Professor Beck-Sickinger apologizes for her unwarranted remarks. Professor Beck-Sickinger: ‘I have made a mistake. I sincerely apologise to everyone whose feelings I have hurt.”
The German professor, however also denied to have made the comments with such intent and stated that after denying the Indian a slot in her lab on account of it being full, this led to an unhealthy discussion between them. A Twitter user tweeted her response to her, which was as follows:
“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 (sic). I apologise if this caused any misunderstanding, but the e-mail was taken out of the context.”