Africans Victimised In India: Hate Politics And Prejudices Will Damage The Social Fabric Of The Country

By Adv. Masood Peshimam,

Dear Editor, Word for Peace,

Africans Victimised In IndiaOur country is affected by one phobia or the other. At times it is Muslim phobia. Sometimes it is Bangladeshi infiltration phobia. At times it is the case of sons of the soils vs outsiders in Maharashtra. Sometimes, it is Hindi phobia in the south. Thus, numerous phobias galore at the cost of the basic issues of development. The recent phobia is of African nationals. The attacks over the African nationals in the country is part of the general law and order situation witnessing quite a spurt with the hate politics unrestrained.

There were a spat of incidents of violence against the Africans including the murder of a Congolese student who was beaten to death in Delhi after an argument over an auto. No less gruesome incident was the assault and stripping of a female Tanzanian student in Bangalore. In Mumbai, there are instances of African nationals subjected to the harassment and torture. The situation has gone to such an extent that AAP legislator Somnath Bharti in a great zeal went in to a neighbourhood in Delhi with the supporters to throw out African women who he said were indulging in prostitution. Such allegations are enough for the alleged mischief and provoke the hostilities. Strangely enough the legislator is from AAP which sings different tune from BJP or Congress. The threat from the AAP MLA is a cause of concern as AAP is expected to promote the secular ethos and the catholicity of outlook. While there are threats to forcibly undo the alleged prostitution by the African women the fact remains that no eyebrows were raised when the loads and loads of Nepali women were involved in the open prostitution with others in Kamathipura, Mumbai over the years. Now there is the move to uproot them not to cleanse the area but with an eye to promote the interest of the builders. These poor lasses earning their bread and butter on selling their flesh are too devastated to fight the influence of the construction mafia blessed with the political culture. The move to throw out the African women is nothing but can be explained in terms of racist undertones.

Such bizarre mistreatment of the Africans drew protest from the 42 African nations whose envoys communicated their displeasure over the sorry state of affairs to the Indian government. The African diplomats decided to boycott the government of Indian, African day function. The diplomats said that the African communities in the country were in a state of shock in memory of the slain African students in the last few years.

The Indian government could not ignore the slew of protest raised by the African diplomats. Reacting to the protests the Home minister Rajnath Singh condemned the attack but denying that the attacks on the African nationals were premeditated or racial. It is not known whether the attacks were premeditated or not but the fact remains that they were and are racial. Any amount of attempt to minimize the impact or the gravity of the incidents would further undermine our credibility in the international arena.

While a lot of prejudice operates at various levels against the Africans our behaviour with whites whether from U.S. Britain or any other European country is massively warm significantly supportive and praising which can well be explained in terms of the whites being powerful and quite capable of bullying the situation.

The moments of worries are for the beleaguered communities which are not the right thing to promote.

Given the current situation, it is the duty of the government to see that unprecedented climate of hatred in the country is sensibly reduced.

The union minister V.K. Singh is also expected to further comforting the environment desisting from the hate politics with his obsession to change the name of Akbar road. Mr. V.K. Singh forgot to note that Rajputs had fought with Maharana Pratap and Maharana Pratap had the band of Muslim supporters. Moreover the present criteria and standards cant be applied to the historical facts.

The hate politics born of prejudices has enough potential to damage the social fabric suggesting security risk to the Indians, Africans or other weak social group.

The lesson needs to be drawn from pope who did not hesitate to show the hospitality to the Arab-Muslim migrants despite Christians being bombed in Pakistan on the eve of Easter. Even Muslims are not safe in Pakistan. Pakistan needs some sort of self correction.

Also, the unstable social environment needs to be normalised in India instead of over indulgence in rhetorics producing no outcome whatsoever.

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