London, Aug. 26 (ANI): A London council has come under fire for describing Pakistani origin pupils who attend the borough's school as 'Pakis'.
Conservative-controlled Redbridge Council in east London, however, has defended the usage of term in an official document that provides a breakdown of the ethnic background of pupils as a "computer error".
The Equality and Human Rights Commission said that the document had been passed to its legal enforcement team, The Guardian reports."The council must know that a generation of Asians in east London grew up in the 1970s with the threat of violence from 'Paki-bashing' and with its association with skinhead gang culture. It is almost impossible to believe that anyone would fail to understand how racially charged the word Paki is," said Kevin Blowe, of anti-racist organisation Newham Monitoring Project.
Following the criticism, the council officials had to issue a revised statement condemning the use of the word."Redbridge council fully accepts the use of this abbreviated term is wholly unacceptable and inappropriate and would never condone the use of such language.
"Having looked at the spreadsheet, in addition to the unacceptable term 'Paki' the document also contains a variety of abbreviations and spelling mistakes and was circulated in error.
"When this was realised at an away day, those present were asked to hand in the document so they could be destroyed. The author of the spreadsheet apologised," a council statement said.Keith Vaz, who chairs the Commons home affairs select committee, said: "It is important that councils are careful to avoid the use of offensive terms in both internal and external communications. I welcome the action the council has taken." (ANI)