India asks IOC to drop Dow as Olympic sponsor

February 27th, 2012 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) The Indian government Monday asked International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge to remove Dow Chemicals as the sponsor of the 2012 London Games.

In a letter to the IOC, the sports ministry sought the immediate removal of Dow, which owns Union Carbide that was responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

The sports ministry had to step in after the IOC rejected the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) appeal to remove Dow.

In a letter to the IOC president, sports ministry’s joint secretary Rahul Bhatnagar said: “We cherish and celebrate the noble ideals of the Olympic Movement. India stands firmly committed to these ideals and the values they promote of friendship, unity, brotherhood and compassion.”

“We strongly believe that there is no better medium than sports to inculcate and foster the feeling of friendship and solidarity among the people of the world. This being so, we are dismayed that the IOC has not respected the sentiments of a large group of stakeholders, including Olympians, and withdrawn its association with Dow Chemicals.”

The ministry asked the IOC to cancel the sponsorship deal for the sake of human rights.

“The government of India would therefore strongly urge the IOC to go beyond lesser considerations and in the larger interest of the ideals of human rights, compassion and solidarity, immediately take steps to cancel the sponsorship of Dow Chemicals for the London Olympics, thereby apart from assuaging the feelings of millions of people, send a strong message to the world over for upholding the noble ideals of the Olympic movement,” the ministry’s letter said.

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