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Resignation of the Indian Embassy's executives in Moscow due to racial discrimination

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On December 24th 2015 the official visit of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi took place in Moscow. A cultural program "Friends of India" for that event was organized by the Indian Embassy in Moscow & Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre by the Indian Embassy in Moscow. Artists of Indian Classical & Folk Dance were gathered from all over Russia to perform in front of the respected Prime Minister.

After two weeks of daily 3-hour rehearsals, on December 17th, the final rehearsal has been demonstrated to H.E. Mr. P.S. Raghavan, Ambassador of India to Russia, and Mr. Ashish Sharma, Director of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre by the Indian Embassy in Moscow. A Russian citizen - Svetlana Tulasi – that is proven to be the leading artist of Indian Classical Dance in Russia and CIS, has been excluded out of that program due to her "Indian face features" (as per the words of H.E. Mr. P.S. Raghavan) while only Russian artists with Slavic appearance were allowed to perform in front of the India's PM. The exact wording was: "Your face doesn't look Russian. We want only girls with Russian faces to perform in front of the PM". Same words have been said to all other artists of Indian origin living in Russia who were rehearsing for the cultural program and were earlier agreed to perform in front of the India's PM. 

After negotiations with Mr. Ashish Sharma, Svetlana with a group of 4 more dancers was formally allowed to perform at the concert before India's PM came to see it. However, the fact is that they were not allowed to enter the stage on that day.

No public apologies have been given. Video materials and witnesses are available for additional information.

This is an unprecedented case of racial discrimination. We deeply regret that this situation took place. Racism is one of the worst crimes against humanity.

The bond between the people of Russia and India has always been very strong. We would highly appreciate you considering this matter with the utmost attention.

As a result of this we would expect the Indian Embassy's executives - H.E. Mr. P.S. Raghavan, Ambassador of India to Russia, and Mr. Ashish Sharma, Director of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre by the Indian Embassy in Moscow - to resign.

With kindest regards

 



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