Racist Attacks on Nigerians in Noida & Other Instances of Indians' Racism



Whatever spin Indian officials and people at large may put on it, it is an inescapable fact that we Indians are among the most racist people on earth. Not only are we racist, we doggedly refuse to acknowledge our racism for what it is. The proffered excuse is, we are brown and we are victims of racism so we cannot be the perpetrators of it. This is completely specious. Look at the racist attack on Nigerians recently in Noida, excuses offered to explain these away as well as other instances that prove our racism beyond doubt.
When the people of Noida attacked Nigerians
A mob of people attacked Nigerians in a Greater Noida mall. They were accused of causing the death of a young student, of peddling drugs and bizarrely, of cannibalism. Their house was broken into by the mob and their fridge raided to check for the alleged ‘cannibalism’. Anyone who looked like a Nigerian was attacked with furniture, rods, dustbins and anything else at hand.
This is textbook racism
People were attacked because they were from a certain race and country. Assumptions of staggering ignorance were made based on ethnicity – basically the colour of skin and the arrangement of facial features. Signs saying “Nigerian-Free Greater Noida” were seen at busy crossroads. It was assumed that one entire set of people were drug peddling savages. There is simply no getting around the fact that this is naked, indefensible, utterly shameful racism.
Africans are routinely subject to racism
In Bengaluru last year, it was alleged that a Sudanese student had mowed down a pedestrian. In response to this, a Tanzanian student and her friends were attacked. There were racist attacks in Chhattarpur as well last year. Africans in India are subject to racism in various ways: they are denied housing, racial slurs are directed at them and people even avoid physical contact! People either do not acknowledge the racism for what it is, or worse they justify it!
Racism against people from the North East
Certain things are also assumed about people from the North East, who are also the victims of racism in their own country. Assumptions are made about food habits, lifestyle, language and even morals, based on which people from the North East are attacked, humiliated and discriminated against in many different ways.
Bollywood perpetuates our racism
African people are very often portrayed as criminals and villains or as the butt of utterly tasteless jokes in Hindi films. Witness songs such as hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai, how in the movie Fashion Priyanka Chopra's character is full of self loathing at having spent a night with a black man or the many times when Black people are portrayed as bumbling idiots, primitive, uncouth and/or savage.
We think this is ‘funny’
Many of us probably received this forward on social media and happily shared it ourselves; blissfully unaware of how incredibly offensive this is, and the racist mindset this betrays. If you dismissed this as ‘just a joke’ you are guilty of cementing the very mentality that targets Africans in Noida, Bengaluru and anywhere else in India.
We spend Rs 3,000 crores on ‘fairness’ creams
Our partiality to fair skin is undeniable – it is evidenced in our matrimonial ads, in our very language (notice how ‘gori’ translates as beautiful). Call it our colonial hangover or put it down to our casteist mindset that equates fair skin with privileged castes and economic prosperity. The fact is that Indians prize fair skin; the fact that Indians are the biggest spenders on fairness creams in the world is evidence of this. Evidence of our racism is everywhere. The sooner we acknowledge it, the sooner we can try to overcome this shameful reality.
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