Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today apologised for using the word "Negro" in one of the answers tabled on the floor of the House here after the alleged racist slur evoked strong reactions from the members.
"Negro has two meanings. One is about a river in Amazon, and second is (in a) derogatory (sense). For that purpose, if someone is hurt, I apologise for that," he told the Goa Assembly.
The Chief Minister blamed a clerk in the police department for the mistake in the written reply on the issue of number of foreign nationals arrested in the state. "The clerk in police department does not understand how serious the particular word is," he said.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. File pic
In the reply tabled on the floor of the House yesterday, Parrikar had referred to an African national arrested at Calangute village on May 8 this year as "unknown African negro". Later, the CM sought to replace the word "unknown African Negro" with "unknown person with dark complexion" after the reference drew flak in the House.
Main Opposition Congress said that such an instance sends negative signals to international tourists. "A circular needs to be sent to departments asking them to refrain from making such racist remarks. We are a tourist state and such words send negative signals to international tourists," Congress spokesperson Durgadas Kamat had said.
On use of the word in official documentation, he said such unfortunate references create a "bad image" about Goa among the global tourist community.
Earlier in November 2013, State Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar has dubbed Nigerians as "cancer", after a group of African nationals were involved in blocking the road at Porvorim near here.