May 27, 2016
(Note: Yes, India needs to act on attacks against foreigners, especially Africans, with far greater alacrity than it has been known to or happening on the ground both in the Church and in the country. All the noise we hear about it is in the internet, not much in national secular media, not even in the Catholic Church’s religious media. They are all playing it safe. But the African countries who are bearing the brunt are furious and mince no words to say that they will stop sending their students to India. Think of the way India and Indian politicians reacted when Indian students were marked out and attacked or killed in Australia. What a hue and cry we made of it? And now why is this silence , or hush-hush talk about racism and casteism flourishing in India? Nay we have to admit this virus is cultivated and promoted by the Reddies and Brahmins in the Catholic Church, other churches and communities and by our political leaders. Let us admit it first, if we have the slightest intension to wipe it our from our midst. james kottoor, editor)
India is trying to douse the anger of African diplomats over frequent attacks on their nationals in what are perceived to be racially-motivated attacks, but there is a distinct need to act and stop such offences here.
The reaction to the brutal murder of a Congolese national in New Delhi after just an argument has been so fierce in these days of Web connectivity and instant dissemination of news that houses of Indians in Congo have been set on fire. While the real facts behind the death of Oliver are yet to be ascertained, it is clear that India needs to act on attacks against foreigners with far greater alacrity than it has been known to. Diplomats have pointed out that “several attacks and harassment of Africans have gone unnoticed without diligent prosecution and conviction of perpetrators”.
India cannot be seen playing the ostrich in the sand. The experience of African students over the years has been quite harsh in the matter of racial discrimination practised against them by Indian society. But we cannot any longer pretend the problem is just one of a failure to understand cultural differences. It runs far deeper than that with Africans being racially abused on the streets with their baiters even pretending to be monkeys. Such behaviour should be put down strictly when the culprits are known and can be brought to book. Beyond that, as a nation we need to educate ourselves about equity in racial matters. This should begin in the schools and colleges if awareness is to be inculcated in all about the need to root out prejudices against Africans based on skin colour.