German professor's email to Indian students on internship application goes viral; University responds
An Indian student's internship application mail to a German professor has gone viral on the internet. The viral response from German professor sparked debate on racism and climate activism on Twitter. A student sent an internship application to a professor at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, hoping to get a positive response. But the reply by the professor has confused netizens.
A user on the X platform shared a screenshot of the mail and captioned it, "My friend sent an email for a research internship in Germany to a German professor! Here's what the response was! Can someone explain this remark".
The student introduced himself and applied for the internship. To which the professor replied, “You would pollute the air by flying to come here: That is why I will not invite you here. Think about doing your internship close to where you live to avoid polluting our world!"l
Following this, the university defended the professor's statement. KIT Karlsruhe tweeted, "Dear Harshit Tiwari, of course, KIT does _not_ endorse racist statements. We regret that you misinterpreted Professor Last's answer in this way. His answer was unquestionably short, but in no way intentionally hurtful".
To which Tiwari responded saying that the professor rejected his friends on the grounds of pollution. "Don't your university have any foreign students, they should also not be allowed. Is this kind of racism in the disguise of climate activism?" Tiwari questioned.
Netizens reacted to the tweet. One person wrote, "OMG, are Germans really that rude?"
Another user wrote, "In my personal opinion, He meant that he is unavailable. you can have simply asked him to do a remote research internship if possible and if you're really determined.
But yeah, he could have replied in a more positive tone though.".
The tweet has amassed more than one lakh views on Twitter and has been liked by 791 people so far.