Sa’ad Ahmed Shaikh
Attacks earlier this year (2017), on African nationals in Greater Noida, has again raised the issue of the unwarranted racism on foreigners in India. In March 2017, African nationals were targeted when a 19 year old student, Manish Khari, reportedly died of a drug overdose. From beating African students mercilessly with steel chairs in shopping malls, to dragging a Kenyan woman out of a cab and assaulting her; the attacks have re-ignited the bitter animosity harboured by misguided Indians towards those with a darker skin tone than their own. Some’n Unique Magazine spoke to African nationals living in India.
Their replies echoed the message of love and peace for all. This is what Jorge, an Arts student from Mozambique, had to say:
“It is shameful and sad when instead of unifying ourselves, we are discriminating against each other. Racial discrimination destroys nations, families, culture and basically the identity of one country. I cannot feel indifferent towards this situation; there is no superior race than another, we all share the same environment and the colour of our skin should not engender struggles. . . Let’s stand together against racism, let’s stop destroying nations.”
Another African student requesting anonymity for security purposes implored that the leaders of the African nations and India address this issue as a priority. She says:
“The attack in Noida is just absolutely terrifying and sad because it’s not the first attack in India against Africans. This is my third year in India and over the years I’ve seen many such assaults. . . I think this needs to go out there to the leaders, our diplomats, all those repre-sentatives in Delhi; those representing the unions and the relationship between India and Africa, they need to stand together with the leaders from India to spread the message that truly there is beauty in diversity. . .I just want to say that the leaders need to come together and inform and educate everyone because that’s an essential need of the hour. Because awareness is better than silence.”
Edgar, a Zimbabwean student, adds, “I haven’t been attacked physically but I have been on the receiving end of insults and derogatory terms whilst in and around the city. My message to the Indians who engage in such acts of violence is that; do to others as you would want them to do unto you. We live in a global village and such mindless actions should be avoided because it will only reflect a biased outlook of the psyche of the Indian people.”
One thing is clear. This irrational fear and hatred needs to stop now. This can only be achieved by properly educating the masses and with the help of Indian leaders addressing the matter on a national level. Some Unique Magazine, LLC stands in solidarity with all those suffering from racial abuse around the world. Peace and understanding is the way forward.