Racism in India


Attacks on some Africans in India show the dark, racist side of the Indian society. Time for change.

Racism in India

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  1. Vasudhaiv Kutumbakan? Attacks and hatred for African citizens are not uncommon in India. There have been many incidents in the past. In March 2017, Nigerian students were violently attacked, brutally beaten, kicked and punched by an unruly mob in Greater Noida, signifying that festering racism was back.
  2. India – Africa Summit or Trough: At a time when India under Prime Minister Modi is upscaling its African diplomacy, the fact that the country is confronting a deep rooted racial problem could complicate the government’s African agenda. India will pay a big price for its impudent citizenry’s lack of civility.
  3. Indians and Racism: Racism is an issue which most Indians are not comfortable discussing.  South African commentators like Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed, in their book “The South African Gandhi: Stretcher-Bearer of Empire”, note that Gandhi fought the British empire for rights of Indians, but not those of the Zulus.
  4. A history fraught with misconceptions: The concept of so-called “Indo-Aryan bloodlines” could be at the root of the issue. Some British officials felt that Indians were positioned higher up the chain of civilisation than Africans as they originated from the same Aryan root. Many Indians also feel the same way.
  5. Violence: Racism in India has become a part of the system, and it is not an acknowledged problem. Perhaps the fact that racial violence against the black people does not look incongruous with other forms of violence in some segments of the Indian society, like violence against women, etc.
  6. Colonialism, continued: Indians were, no doubt, ill-treated by the colonial masters. But soon after the British left India, we ourselves assumed those roles and internalized that unjust mentality. Colour and complexion-based discrimination in the Indian society is strong, as is evident from the runaway commercial success of “Fairness Creams”.
  7. Get ready to pay a big price: We need to develop tolerance, acceptance and peaceful co-existence. At least, Indians living abroad (facing racism in the US) must definitely be feeling that way.
  8. Do check out exams-focussed Confidence and Vocabulary Booster series of learning resources here
  9. Download Resources : PDFs on social issues available on Bodhi Resources page here.

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Bodhi Saar: Racism in India
Racism in India
Attacks on some Africans in India show the dark, racist side of the Indian society. Time for change.
Bodhi Saar
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