In the dock over controversial remarks, Sam Pitroda resigns as Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress

Sam Pitroda. PHOTO X @sampitroda

Sam Pitroda, whose remarks about the diversity of India’s citizens caused a major political furore in election season and embarrassed the Congress, leading to the tech entrepreneur and former telecom man of India, resigning as Chairman of Indian Overseas Congress on Wednesday, March 8, 2024.

The Congress had earlier distanced itself from Pitroda’s remarks.

“Mr. Sam Pitroda has decided to step down as Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress of his own accord. The Congress President has accepted his decision,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on X.

Pitroda stirred a major controversy in the middle of Lok Sabha polls and BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi seized on them to target the Congress.

In an interview with ‘The Statesman’, while reflecting upon the democracy in India, Pitroda  said, “We have survived 75 years in a very happy environment where people could live together, leaving aside few fights here and there. We could hold a country together as diverse as India, where people in the East look like Chinese, people in the West look like Arab, people in the North look like white and maybe people in the South look like Africans.”

Sam Pitroda’s latest book ‘The Idea of Democracy’. PHOTO: X @sampitroda

He further added that the people of India respect different languages, religions, food and customs which vary from region to region. “That’s the India that I believe in, where everybody has a place and everybody compromises a little bit,” he said.

Ramesh said, “The analogies drawn by Sam Pitroda in a podcast to illustrate India’s diversity are most unfortunate and unacceptable. The Indian National Congress completely dissociates itself from these analogies,” he said in a post on X.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders slammed Pitroda over his remarks, characterizing them as “racist” and Prime Minister Modi referred to them in his election rallies.



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