Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

Indian-Origin Restaurateur Receives Key to City After Facing Racial Rant in Kentucky

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An Indian-origin restaurateur in Kentucky, United States, who was targeted with racial remarks on the social media, is now a proud recipient of a key to his city. Taj Sardar, the owner of a restaurant called King’s Diner in Ashland, was given the symbolic honor by city leaders on Aug. 13, a week after he was subjected to racial comments.

To show the community’s support towards him, Ashland city’s Mayor Steve Gilmore and three city commissioners visited Sardar.

“After what he went through, I wanted to tell him, we’re very proud you’re one of our entrepreneurs in the city of Ashland and your reputation is sterling,” Gilmore said, PTI reported.

“What he went through was pretty heavy stuff, and this morning I wanted to show him we’re proud of having him in our community,” he added.

The incident took place on Aug. 8 when an off-duty employee of the Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Service, came to Sardar’s restaurant for lunch and left without saying a word, WSAZ reported. However, while leaving the restaurant, he clicked a picture of the place and later posted it on the social media with a long caption, saying that he was greeted by a “tribe” of India and that he “probably just funded Al-Qaeda.”

The racial post caught much attention in the Tri State area, including the offender’s company. The firm released a statement, saying, “We wish to apologize to anyone who was offended by those posts. We do not agree with, or condone, them and are in the process of handling them accordingly.”

After the incident, Sardar told the police that he was scared for his family’s safety. “When I first read the thing on the Facebook, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is this serious?’,” he said, PTI reported. “I was like hopefully his backers don’t try to get together and push me out here, which I’ve been living here since 2010,” he added.

He later told WSAZ that business at this restaurant, which serves Indian dishes cooked in home style, started booming following the racial post. He has received an enormous amount of support from the community, and he “got to realize there are more positive people out there than the negative ones we just had experienced, and I’m really thankful to this community here,” PTI quoted him saying.

Taj and his family legally moved to the United States in 2006 and shifted from upstate New York to Ashland in 2010 to open their store, the report added.