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'No racist undertones in visa denial'

March 23, 2005 14:07 IST

Even as he condemned the State Department decision to deny a visa to Narendra Modi, Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, wondered how the Gujarat chief minister finds similarities between his situation and that of Gandhi's when he was thrown out of a train in South Africa.

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"It seems it is something pulled out of his (Modi's) hat. After all, the Mahatma was never denied a visa to any country," he said on Tuesday.

Arun Gandhi is the founder and chairman of the MK Gandhi Institute for Non-violence.

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In the context of the visa denial, Modi likened his situation to that of Gandhi, who was a victim of racial discrimination in South Africa.

But Arun Gandhi said Modi's case was not an example of discrimination.

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"Modi is a democratically elected official and should have been given the freedom to travel and pursue his engagement," Gandhi told

"But for him to say that there is a similarity with Bapuji's life is far fetched,"  he added.

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