Africans in India

by Tmeade1 on November 20, 2016 - 5:49pm

For decades, Africans fleeing from their war torn countries have resided in many parts  of India.    As I researched further into Africans living in India, I found out about the ongoing issue of racism.  There have been many short films, and news articles showing how badly Africans living in India are treated.  Some Indians have gone as far as harassing, and  assaulting many African students.   Some of these hate crimes even take place during the day when many people are around. No matter where Africans go, they are discriminated against-and it’s sad. They even refer to the Africans, as “banders” monkeys. Most even speak hindi and still aren’t accepted.

I chose the article, Being African in India: ‘ We are seen as demons’.  Zaharadden Muhammad, is Nigerian and has been living in India for a year.  He explains that “African students no longer feel safe in India; we have to deal with racism at every turn.”  There have been many cases in which mobs of Indian men are targeting African women; beating and stripping them of their clothes.  In one case a Congolese teacher died after receiving a brutal beating.  The police would simply dismiss any complaints of racism, which caused African students to form rallies.  “I don’t want to be targeted. Even when people ask me at parties where I am from, I often lie...you never know who you are speaking to. You might be followed and harassed,” said by a female african student.  Zaharadden says he has never been invited to a Indian wedding or a Indian person’s home, and they simply ignore him.  Zarharadden’s advice to a Nigerian friend who wants to study in India is “... to go elsewhere...the purpose of studying abroad is to learn about another culture. If that cannot be achieved, then you might as well not go.”  According to Aletta Andre, at AlJazeera.com, “Professor Archin Vanaik, links the widespread of racism African people face to the Indian caste system.” Most think of the african women as prostitutes and the men as drug dealers.   

In my opinion, I wouldn’t want to travel to a country where people discriminate against their own people.  In north India, studies have shown that the white indians strongly dislike the dark skin ones.   I don’t think the racism Africans face are  really linked to India’s caste system, because for years there have been a divide between white indians and black indians, also hindus and muslims.

 

Comments

Mohammed, Zaradheen. “Being African in India: 'We Are Seen as Demons'.” News from Al Jazeera, 26 June 2016, www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/06/african-india-demons-16062010....

Hi there,
Your article did a really good job at conveying the discontent many people may feel by being an onlooker or observer of a different culture. You're also right to say that you wouldn't want to travel somewhere where racism is so prevalent and acted upon and your tone shows your general disgust with this misconduct. Racism in today's society is a touchy topic for many people so I'm glad you brought this up. In South Asian communities, there is a degree of colorism that is prevalent and is not something to be proud of. However, I may even go as far to say that Asian communities, Black communities, etc., also have varying degrees of colorism. All this shows is that the problem lies not only within the community but, within society in general.

Unfortunately, it isn't something that can be resolved overnight since a lot of these behaviours have been ingrained in societies since colonization. I think education could be one way out of many to address these issues of prejudice.

Evening,

When I first looked at this post, I had no idea where it would end up and was curious about it and decided to indulge. I'm glad I did, but if I could make a suggestion; maybe a more catchy title would've served you better as I'm sure many will pass by your piece now. Either way, I'm very surprised this was the direction it went in and it really cements the idea that racism doesn't always need a reason other than thinking some race is below you simply because - insert random reason here-, or in an example gave; skin colour and religion. It honestly makes no sense that people go on power trips because a physical feature is different from theirs. I wouldn't want to travel to this country either, but then that ignores the problem, so I ask myself; how do we solve this? And there's no good all-encompassing answer, simply because racism still exist today in our countries and it's rather abundant.

All I can think of is education, but some people will still hate people based on their different physical features just as much as people hate people based on their personalities. So in the end, it comes down to instilling the value of tolerance. You may not like your sister, but you live with her so you have to tolerate her kind of tolerance. We live in civil society so you can't just up and publicly harass and humiliate someone... unless you're India. The roots of intolerance and racism run deep in places such as India, and I'd think to make major change you'd have to wait for the older folk of that part of the world to die out and focus on instilling such values in younger people because people are too set in their ways when they grow older. It's something akin to a growing pain, one Canada and the US are still going through as well. It'll take time to breed it all out, but someday it might be achieved. Or maybe I'm just an idealist and people will always find a reason to openly hate others based on random features and overlying feelings of superiority as I stated earlier. No level of racism is tolerable, but we're lucky to have it much better here where people are publicly shamed for being intolerant instead of participating in the harassment. It's... very hard to fix. How do you think we should go about fixing racism in places such as India?

I appreciate the way you used an article written by someone who has fallen victim of, as well as witnessed, the treatment Africans receive in India first-hand. This gives readers more of a realistic outlook on the topic, leaving them aware of the gravity of the issue. The part that struck me the most is your reference to how mobs of Indian men target African women in a sexually harassing manner. The issue of mistreated Africans in India is one that deserves recognition, however looking at the problems namely African women face while living in India becomes a problem of its own. Female Africans in India must worry about the intersectionality that comes with their identity. Intersectionality is the overlapping and reinforcing of inequality, discrimination, or oppression in one’s life. African Women in India are not only discriminated against for their race, but also for their gender. This leaves this group of women at a more severe degree of oppression and ultimately, in danger. Here’s more on intersectionality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

First of all, I want to congratulate you for bringing up an important issue that many people do not hear about in North America. The fact that racism still exists is sad because we as humans have faced this struggle for many years and every time we think we have conquered this issue there is still a long road to go. It is sad that these students are forced to lie about their ethnicity in order to be treated fairly. The only thing that is different about Indians and Africans is how they look on the outside but it doesn't mean that one ethnicity is better than the other and they are still humans on the inside. In order to address this issue the UN should develop international human rights in which every country must follow and if there is a violation they should be fined or put in jail. There needs to be some type of punishment so that there is an incentive for people to stop.

Hi Tmeade1,
I thought your article was very informative even in the few paragraphs you used as I myself was not aware of such racism in India. This strikes me as an incredibly troubling situation as I'm sure many people would agree. As you and those in the articles clearly show the evidence of how unpleasant it can be Africans in India. The most troubling part is that the form of racism and the direct harassment and assault and how this causes difficulty for those trying to learn about the culture or anything educational at all.
Your article did a good job in portraying the issue and I also agree with your opinion. I would, however like to hear how you think this issue could/should be dealt with and hopefully resolved. No one should be treated like this.
Great article!

Hi, Tmeade1

I wanted to first tell you that I thought you did a great job at addressing an issue which many people here in North America are not too familiar with. The article you wrote did a good job at explaining how many people may feel like an outsider due to their culture in the country they live in. I agree with your statement where you said "I wouldn’t want to travel to a country where people discriminate against their own people". I would also not want to travel somewhere where racism is such a large issue.

Unfortunately, there is still evidence of racism today across the world. It is even in our own backyard where we live in. It is a very important issue which must be addressed and I am very glad you decided to address it in article you wrote. From reading your article, we are able to expand our knowledge and awareness of racism as most people only think of racism within the regions they live - North America. It is good to know, however very sad to learn that it is such a large issue in places such as India.

Racism is not something that can be ended overnight - it is still quite a dominant issue in our society today. My question to you is, if you were to help address the issue of racism, how would you do it? I personally believe a large way of addressing it is through the use of education in school systems and by our government.

This post drew my attention because racism is such a prevalent issue in today’s society. I appreciate the fact that this post draws attention to a racial conflict that the majority of North American’s aren’t aware of, as our media is dominated by the issues occurring here, specifically white privilege and black oppression, as well as Muslim hate. That being said, my opinion on racism towards Africans in India is that the underlying reasons are exactly the same as the reasons for racism anywhere in the world. In India, black women are viewed as prostitutes and black men as drug dealers, while in North America, blacks are viewed as criminals and Muslims are viewed as terrorists. In all cases, the racism is based not on fact, but wholly on the fear of different culture and not being able to relate to their daily lives. Global racism will not stop until people learn to not associate every individual of a given race or religion with negative stereotypes developed by the differences in our societies and cultures.

I think you have an interesting post that highlights an issue that can be seen around the world. North Americans tend to be mainly subject to the racism of whites vs. other minority groups, or at least that has been my experience. Therefore, it may seem odd to see racism in another country against two groups that we may view as minorities themselves. This really shines through in your post, you are writing about a fairly common phenomenon, but from an outsiders perspective. I don't think what is happening here is overly different than what many Black individuals are faced with in the United States, or perceived racism against Asian people in places like Toronto. Obviously, this is a very grave incident that needs to be treated as such, but from the way in which you are responding to the article, it feels to me as if you are missing the connections that we have to similar incidences in North America. You did, however, bring up many good points, and this post definitely has the potential to become something more.

Very intriguing article, I find this to be an important issue in today's age since we are beginning more and more to learn and accept that all humans, no matter what race, have just as much value as the next one. In our country Canada, it is more unlikely to hear about the racism going on in other parts of the world. The general public may only have knowledge of their own specific cases of racism occurring in their area, but how many understand that it goes on in every part of our Earth. Sharing articles like this one could positively influence the way we view racism, and can help us stop it eventually. With the examples presented in this post, I find it cruel that one must hide their identity from others in order to keep their lives safe from harassment, both physical and verbal.

Very intriguing article, I find this to be an important issue in today's age since we are beginning more and more to learn and accept that all humans, no matter what race, have just as much value as the next one. In our country Canada, it is more unlikely to hear about the racism going on in other parts of the world. The general public may only have knowledge of their own specific cases of racism occurring in their area, but how many understand that it goes on in every part of our Earth. Sharing articles like this one could positively influence the way we view racism, and can help us stop it eventually. With the examples presented in this post, I find it cruel that one must hide their identity from others in order to keep their lives safe from harassment, both physical and verbal.

Very intriguing article, I find this to be an important issue in today's age since we are beginning more and more to learn and accept that all humans, no matter what race, have just as much value as the next one. In our country Canada, it is more unlikely to hear about the racism going on in other parts of the world. The general public may only have knowledge of their own specific cases of racism occurring in their area, but how many understand that it goes on in every part of our Earth. Sharing articles like this one could positively influence the way we view racism, and can help us stop it eventually. With the examples presented in this post, I find it cruel that one must hide their identity from others in order to keep their lives safe from harassment, both physical and verbal.

Very intriguing article, I find this to be an important issue in today's age since we are beginning more and more to learn and accept that all humans, no matter what race, have just as much value as the next one. In our country Canada, it is more unlikely to hear about the racism going on in other parts of the world. The general public may only have knowledge of their own specific cases of racism occurring in their area, but how many understand that it goes on in every part of our Earth. Sharing articles like this one could positively influence the way we view racism, and can help us stop it eventually. With the examples presented in this post, I find it cruel that one must hide their identity from others in order to keep their lives safe from harassment, both physical and verbal.

Very intriguing article, I find this to be an important issue in today's age since we are beginning more and more to learn and accept that all humans, no matter what race, have just as much value as the next one. In our country Canada, it is more unlikely to hear about the racism going on in other parts of the world. The general public may only have knowledge of their own specific cases of racism occurring in their area, but how many understand that it goes on in every part of our Earth. Sharing articles like this one could positively influence the way we view racism, and can help us stop it eventually. With the examples presented in this post, I find it cruel that one must hide their identity from others in order to keep their lives safe from harassment, both physical and verbal.

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