Washington: Another key sponsor of the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) has pulled out of the prestigious annual meet in the wake of the organiser's decision to cancel a keynote address by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The webpage of WIEF showed Colors' channel, which is Viacom18's flagship brand in the entertainment space in India, being removed from the list of silver sponsors of the annual event.
Into the 17th edition of the annual event of the prestigious business school of the United States, which is primarily being run by its students, the WIEF has been pushed into controversy due its decision on Modi - first to invite him and then to cancel the invitation following protests from a section of the University of Pennsylvania. There has not been any official word from either the Wharton School or the organisers of the WIEF on withdrawal of sponsors and speakers and its impact on the conference.
Before Colors, the Gujarat-based Adani Group, who was the top Platinum sponsor of the event, and Hexaware Technologies (a silver sponsor) have withdrawn from the event. Colors was the silver sponsor of the event.
This has left Deutsche Bank as the top sponsor (silver sponsor - the second highest category of sponsors). Incredible India (Ministry of Tourism) is the only sponsor left in the Bronze category.
The three media sponsors are Knowledge Wharton (which is a Wharton publication), TV Asia (an eminent Indian American news channel) and US India Business Council. Meanwhile, Wikipedia this morning removed the content from its WIEF page that was highly critical of the Wharton India Economic Forum because of its decision to cancel its invitation to Modi. The entire paragraph was removed.