Leipzig varsity bars Indian from internship over rape issue

10 Mar 2015


With or without the controversy over the 'banned' BBC documentary on the murderous 2012 rape in Delhi, Indian men have earned a bad rap abroad - a professor from the Institute of Biochemistry at the respected Leipzig University in Germany last week denied internship to an Indian student due to the "rape problem in India".

Prof Annette G Beck-Sickinger  

Prof Annette G Beck-Sickinger wrote in an email to the student, "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 friends in my group, so i think this attitude is something I cannot support."

The professor later admitted that she was generalising the issue after the student pointed this out, but she also stated that she found the ''multi-rapes'' in India "threatening" and that they "demonstrate the attitude of a society towards women".

She went on to say that not only her, but other female professors too have stopped accepting Indian male students.

''Many female professors in Germany decided to no longer accept male students for these reasons, and currently other European female associations are joining. Of course we cannot change or influence the Indian society, but only take our consequences here in Europe," she said in the reply to the student.

In a subsequent response to questions from HuffPost India, the professor confirmed the authenticity of the email. She said her lab was full and that had led to an "unpleasant discussion" with one student.

"I apologize if this caused any misunderstanding, but the e-Mail was taken out of the context," she wrote.

 But the email thread is quite clear about what her thoughts on the subject are.

In the second mail, written to the student, the professor states that weekly news reports about ''multi-rape crimes'' and tourists being kidnapped by groups of males demonstrated the country's attitude towards women.

The email blew up on social media over the weekend as the recipient put up screen-grabs of the email exchanges on Quora and were shared by other social media.

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