Indian-Americans’ spelling bee win draws racial remarks

The two clinched the title after a thrilling final in which
 they almost exhausted the 25 designated words.
NEW YORK: The historic win by two Indian-American students at the prestigious national spelling bee contest today drew some flak on the social media with many making racial innuendos about children of Indian-origin having an unbeaten track record at the annual contest. 

Sriram Hathwar, 14 and Ansun Sujoe, 13, created history by winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the first time in 52 years that two participants have won the contest. 

The two clinched the title after a thrilling final in which they almost exhausted the 25 designated words. 

This was the seventh consecutive year that Indian- American students have retained the spelling bee title, a trend that was started by Sameer Mishra who won the contest in 2008. 

The win by the two youngsters has however led to some US audience making racial comments about how only Indians have been winning the spelling bee for some years now. 

"Wait a minute!!! Where is the diversity? Why are there not women or non-Asian minorities winning? Sounds racist to me," a person commented on the Washington Post website. 

Another reader said, "How is it that foreigners who are new to America are able to win the spelling bee like this?" while another reader posted, "First they took our beauty queen title then they take our bee. Whats next they take away our jobs..." 

A comment on Twitter by one Matt Marzullo said, "We need an american to win this spelling bee #tiredofindiansmatt". 

Another said, "The kids in the spelling bee should only be AMERICAN". 

Another tweet said "Shocking that neither of the Spelling bee champs have names that sound American #Sriram #Ansun." 

However, other readers said parents and families of Indian-American students encourage hard work and learning which leads to such students performing well in these competitions. 

"I find the comments here very interesting regarding how 'foreigners' can win these contests. It is so simple it amazes me that everyone doesn't recognise the answer. The families of the winners value and encourage learning and hard work. They don't spend their time blaming others for their problems," a reader said. 

"This is exactly why US students are, in many cases, falling behind. The parents do not value and encourage education and all the money and best teachers in the world are not going to educate someone who does not want to learn," the reader said. 

The other tweets posted on the microblogging site were "Will an American ever win the #spellingbee", "Where are our American kids?" 

"wow that blows the spelling bee ends with a tie thats so friggin un-American no wonder the kids that won it are Indian", another tweeted. 

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