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Toronto based Punjabi host bashed over lewd comments about female international students

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 31 Jul, 2020
  • Toronto based Punjabi host bashed over lewd comments about female international students

A South Asian Radio and TV host in Toronto is facing a lot of criticism for making derogatory and defamatory remarks against female international students from India.

He referred to these students as idle and in transient sexual relationships who are coming to a prestigious nation like Canada to find a man and to tie the knot.

Joginder Bassi, host of the Gaunda Punjab Radio and TV show, is getting a lot of heat after he made these disparaging comments on a weekend segment during his show a month ago.

Students are feeling outraged by his comments and lots of students have expressed their anger by saying that the Indo Canadian community in Toronto should show solidarity by having his show being taken off the air and write to the CRTC.

Some students went onto say that he is a well respected host and lots of people listen to him so he should know better and not make these generalized statements.

The host is experiencing serious backlash due to controversial remarks he made in November in which a woman called in to complain about international Indian students in Canada.

The woman, spoke in Punjabi and said they need to cap the number of students coming in from India as they "spread so much garbage around" and "think they can do whatever they want."

Bassi replied by saying that that these female students don't get a job, get pregnant, and don't know who the father of their child is. Bassi also took aim at women international students saying that they take advantage of free meals given at Gurdwaras. 

Harpreet Kaur, a 26-year-old nursing student from India who studies at Kitchener-Waterloo's Conestoga College, found Bassi's words deameaning and hurtful. "You are really discouraging people who are really working hard here to make their future because they're really starting from nothing to build everything here." She said Bassi's comments were "emotionally demoralizing" to all female students who made the decision to study in Canada. "I have many other Indian friends who have a much bigger aim in life ... than just sleeping around with guys and finding a suitable Canadian guy."

Gaunda Punjab Radio and TV's website says "We bring you news, views, talk shows, opinions and information about Punjab, India, Canada and the world every day.

Andrés Machalski, president of MIREMS, a service that monitors ethnic media, said that according to its data, Bassi's radio program attracts just under half a million listeners a day and Bassi is a well followed Indo Canadian journalist.

The video clip of Bassi's show has since gone viral and many current and former students have commented on social media and giving Bassi serious backlash. Bassi has not responded to media regarding his comments. He has not replied to emails as well.

The questions to Bassi were passed onto Mr. Deol publisher of a weekly Punjabi newspaper. Deol suggested Bassi's comments have been taken out of context. 'Politics of back home'

He said much of the anger directed at Bassi is politically motivated and can be linked to upcoming elections in the provincial assembly in Punjab. Deol said "Some students are playing the politics of back home," he said but the students rejected Deol's claims.

Many students called him out on social media saying "He has completely ignored the fact that how international students are contributing to this great nation and how hard they are working to earn a better living." Some have also started petitions expressing outrage over Bassi's remarks.

His statements have prompted anxiety among parents in India who are now worried for the well being and safety of their children.

Ritu Virk, a former international student, made a video in English and posted it on YouTube to make people aware of his behavior and that the host doesn't say these kind of things on his show next time.

Photo courtesy of Instagram

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