German professor apologises after citing India’s ‘rape problem’ to deny student internship

A professor from the Institute of Biochemistry at Leipzig University inGermany reportedly denied internship to an Indian student due to the “rape problem in India”.

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 also 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 association are joining. Of course we cannot change or influence the Indian society, but only take our consequences here in Europe,” she says in the reply to the student.

The screen-grabs of the email exchanges were put up on Quora and were shared on social media.

Confirming the authenticity of the mails to Huffington Post, the Leipzig University professor is quoted as saying she denied the internship to the Indian student since her lab was full which led to the ‘unpleasant discussion’ on e-mail. Attempting to revise her stand, the professor said that she had nothing against Indian males and has accepted Indian students in the past.

Meanwhile, German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner sent an urgent letter to the professor on Monday morning strongly disapproving of her discriminating generalisations against male Indian students. The professor has now issued an apology saying, “I have made a mistake. I sincerely apologise to everyone whose feelings I have hurt.”

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