London, Feb 3: Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan had claimed that he has been a victim of racism in United Kingdom.
Ramakrishnan, an Indian-American currently here, accused British mobile phone company O2 of racism after he found it difficult to buy an iPhone.
Ramakrishnan said that he was forced to pay a three-month deposit of £325 when most applicants with good credit histories were not asked for a deposit.
"I am actually slightly suspicious that there is an element of racism at play here as well, since I can't think of a logical reason why I should be denied credit," he said.
The phone company's spokesman said that the discrepancy occurred only because Ramakrishnan spelt his first name as 'Venki' in the application form.
According to Ramakrishnan, when making purchases in the past, he did not have problems even when using his first name as "Venki" or using just his initial.
"It was my impression that the programs are capable of distinguishing nicknames, since the postcode/address/last name and date of birth match. I've often just used my original initial," he said.
However, Sarah Taylor, an O2 spokeswoman said, "I was dismayed to hear that Prof Ramakrishnan would suggest that this decision was in any way related to race."
"We are honoured to have a distinguished Nobel prizewinner among our customers, I can assure you that every customer is treated exactly the same regardless of their race, creed or colour and in accordance with the law," Taylor said.
Google's new 'Nexus One' is a smartphone and competitor for iPhones produced by Apple. Nexus One uses Android open source mobile operating system. Google can gift a Nexux One to Venkataraman!