A conversation between an Indian student and a German professor has been shared by a user on social media that has sparked a debate. The cryptic tone and curtness of the reply by the professor has been slammed by many people for what they see as an anti-India or racial remark, while many others are perplexed as to what the professor actually intended to say.
The screenshot of the intriguing exchange between the student and the teacher, shared by X formally known as Twitter user Harshit Tiwari, has garnered viral attention and spurred a wide-ranging debate.
The user disclosed that the conversation in question involved his friend, who had reached out to German professor Arndt Last, expressing interest in a research internship at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.
Although the entire email sent by Harshit’s friend remained undisclosed, Tiwari unveiled a screenshot of Professor Last’s reply, which left many bewildered.
The response read, “You would pollute the air by flying to come here. That is why I will not invite you here. Think about an internship close to where you live to avoid polluting our world! Regards, Arndt Last.”
The unusual response immediately caught the attention of social media users, leaving them perplexed. Tiwari’s post captioned, “My friend sent a mail for a research internship in Germany to a German professor! Here what’s the response was! Can someone explain this remark?” has trigged a wave of reactions.
The university also responded on that post, saying, “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.”
Social media users have also been sharing their own theories and speculations about the professor’s response, further fueling the debate.
One of the users commented, “In my personal opinion, he meant that he is unavailable. You can have simply asked him to do remote research internship if possible and if you’re determined. But yeah, he could have replied in more positive tone though.”
While another user said, “Assuming there is a strong tendency between air pollution and your research field, would kind of explain his reply, but would not justify the harsh tone though.”
“Nothing to do with racism but everything to do with environmentalism. Fridays for the future are big here. I suggest your friend looks for an internship in some company. They have tended to have lesser scruples when it comes to this sort of thing.” a user commented.