Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

Black's Not A Darker Brown

Official denial of the racist nature of the attacks on them does little to make Africans feel safe in India

Friends Sans Borders Photograph by Sanjay Rawat

If This Isn’t Racist

  • October 2015 Three Africans assaul­ted by a mob at Rajiv Chowk metro station in New Delhi following allegations that they abused a woman
  • February 2016 A Nigerian woman dragged out of her car, thrashed and stripped by a mob following a road accident the previous day involving someone from Africa
  • February 2016 Three Nigerians assaulted while returning from a ‘place of worship’ after they protested against racial slur
  • May 20, 2016 A French teacher from Congo, Masunda Kitada Oliver, succumbed to his injuries after being assaulted in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi after a squabble over hiring an autorickshaw
  • May 23-24, 2016 A dozen Africans assaulted in the Mehrauli area of south Delhi—locals complain about their loud music, their way of dressing and their drinking in public
  • May 27, 2016 An African assaulted in the Banjara Hill area of Hyderabad following a dispute over parking his motorcycle


It would seem the only thing Indians like in black is money. Ask any of the hundreds of citizens of various African countries living in India. If some of them were not so sure, our ministers and at least one chief minister have helped clear it. Indeed, if one of those of the ‘uncool’ colour were a fan of punk rock, they would think they now know the answer to Should I Stay or Should I Go? and that The Clash had got it upside-down when they sang, “If I go, there will be trouble.” The killing of Masunda Kit­ada Oliver, 24, on May 20, hours bef­ore he was to celebrate his birthday, coming in the wake of other incidents of racist violence, leaves little room to doubt that trouble stalks Africans who stay in India. Oliver had got into what MoS (external affairs) Gen (retd) V.K. Singh described as a “minor scuffle” over hiring an auto. Three young people, two of them with a criminal background, chased and ass­aulted him. He succumbed to his injuries.