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US Congresswoman's aide faces backlash for wearing Bose t-shirt

The aide of a US Congresswoman is facing backlash from Republican supporters and right-wing media of the country after a video of him wearing a t-shirt with an image of Subhash Chandra Bose emblazoned on it went viral.

ANI | Washington DC | Updated: 14-07-2019 14:07 IST | Created: 14-07-2019 14:07 IST
US Congresswoman's aide faces backlash for wearing Bose t-shirt
Saikat Chakrabarti, the chief of staff to US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Photo courtesy: NowThis News Youtube channel). Image Credit: ANI

The aide of a US Congresswoman is facing backlash from Republican supporters and right-wing media of the country after a video of him wearing a t-shirt with an image of Subhash Chandra Bose emblazoned on it went viral. In December, last year, Indian-American Saikat Chakrabarti, the chief of staff to Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appeared in a video by NowThis News where he talked about Cortez's surprise congressional victory. Not the content of the video, but the green t-shirt worn by Chakrabarti triggered a controversy leading to resurfacing of the video almost eight months later.

What led to the uproar is that by some Bose is perceived as "an Indian nationalist who collaborated with the Nazis", as pointed out in a report by Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The report further describes Bose as a dissenting Indian nationalist who enlisted "tens of thousands of Indian men to support the Japanese Invasion of British India in 1944 and help fight the British in Europe for Hitler." Similar views were echoed in a report by Newsweek headlined, "Who was Subhas Chandra Bose? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez senior staffer criticised for sporting image of Nazi collaborator."

Chakrabarti's T-shirt is not the sole reason he has found himself at the centre of Amerian politics of late. As pointed out in a report by The New York Times, the Indian-American ignited a firestorm two weeks ago after calling moderate Democrats who advocated for the USD 4.59 billion emergency border funding bill in late June, as "new Southern Democrats". In a now-deleted tweet, Chakrabarti wrote that the "New Southern Democrats... certainly seem hell-bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s."

In the following tweet, Chakrabarti cleared that he didn't think "people have to be personally racist to enable a racist system. And the same could even be said of the Southern Democrats. I don't believe Sharice is a racist person, but her votes are showing her to enable a racist system" (ANI)


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