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Aus: Radio host who called River Ganga 'junkyard' apologises

August 05, 2011 11:06 IST
An Australian radio show host facing criticism for using a derogatory word against India and calling river Ganga a "junkyard" has issued an apology.

Council of Indian-Australians President Yadu Singh said, "I am pleased to report that Sydney's 2Day FM Radio station and host Kyle Sandilands have realised the mistake in their comments and issued an apology. This apology has been on air by Kyle, and in writing by Adam Lang, general manager of 2day FM Radio station, who had sent a letter to me on Friday."

Singh said Kyle, in his apology note, stated, "I'm apologising. Anyone that's Indian, that listens to this show, knows that I love Indians. I don't discriminate. I love everyone. I don't care where they are, where they are from, what colour they are."

"I just made the mistake that the river which, to me, looks polluted, I said it was a junkyard and I did not realise it was holy," Kyle said.     

Lang also commented on the issue and said, "In this instance, I hope that you feel that Kyle Sandilands and 2Day FM have taken full responsibility for the offence caused by remarks made. The offence was not intended but that consequence is absolutely accepted and we do sincerely apologise."

Singh, who claimed to have received many emails and calls from Indian-Australians upset about Sandilands's remarks earlier, said the matter was now resolved to their satisfaction.

He stressed that the issue was not between Australia and India, but it was between Kyle and the listeners.

Singh also thanked the radio station for acting and resolving the issue quickly. "It did affect Indians all over the world however. A lot of Indians were upset but some also agreed with him," he said.

Sandilands, a former Australian Idol and X Factor judge, was suspended for four weeks from his radio show in 2009 for his remarks about Szubanski

He was also taken off-air in the same year after a 14-year-old girl alleged on his programme, while strapped to a lie detector, that she had been raped when she was 12.

In his recent show, Sandilands, while using a derogatory word against India, had said on air: "They don't want to bathe in the river with the dead cows and all these dead things. Those with a shower are very lucky."

He further commented to his co-host "No, it is not. Someone has told someone a furphy, because that river is just a junkyard."

Natasha Chaku in Melbourne
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