Curb racist behaviour

India cannot be seen playing the ostrich in the sand.

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 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.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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