I`m an Indian, says Anand; accepts Sibal`s sorry

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 10:05

New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday apologised to chess wizard Vishwanathan Anand over the
controversy on conferring an honorary doctorate to him and
made it clear that his nationality was never questioned by the
ministry.

Anand has now agreed to accept the honour, Sibal said.

“I’m an Indian. I was trained in Spain but always retained my Indian passport. I accept HRD minister Kapil Sibal’s apology, will accept the doctorate,” Anand said, putting the unfortunate incident behind him like a true champion.

In the wake of media reports that Anand was denied the
honour proposed by the University of Hyderabad after the HRD
Ministry raised questions over his nationality, Sibal spoke to
him over telephone and expressed regrets.

"I told him that the honorary degree could be conferred
today itself. He indicated to me that he had some problem
about this evening. Then I told him any date of his
convenience for the function was okay. He has accepted it," he
told a hurriedly-convened press conference here.

Replying to questions on reports that the ministry had
raised doubts over the nationality of Anand, who had made
Spain his second home for some years now but holds an Indian
passport, he said, "There is no question, there is no issue.
There is no question of nationality (about Anand)."

He said he had cleared the file on Anand`s name on May 22
but there were five other names. "When I went to the Visitor
it came back to me with reference to an individual. Then the
university event was over. This issue arose when another file
came regarding a foreigner. If I had known I would have put my
foot down.”

"We have dealt with the matter as expeditiously as
possible. It is for Vishwanathan Anand to decide. He will be
conferred the doctorate. He has accepted it," Sibal said.

"Procedural error has led to problems regarding doctorate
to Anand...immediate corrective action was taken...I told him
that we are sorry for what has transpired," he said.

"It should not take time (to implement such decisions)
but sometime it happens," he said.
Hailing Anand for his achievements, Sibal said,
"Vishwanathan Anand has done India proud like Arjun Atwal (who
won a top professional golf championship in the US yesterday).
We should be proud of those who climb the heights of global
excellence."

Coinciding with the International Conference on Maths
currently on here, the University was planning to honour Anand
along with Harvard University mathematician David Mumford.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 10:05

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