Blatant racism in India against Nigerians and Africans – by Gaurav Tyagi

— It has been more than a month since, four Nigerian students were attacked by a large mob in Noida, India. This racist attack was largely instigated by the ‘Gujjar’ community.These Gujjars own the majority of land in and around Noida. A lot of companies set up base in this region during the 90’s. This resulted in Gujjars getting astronomical amounts of money for their agricultural land.

This large scale heavy cash in the form of rent and through sale of land made these Gujjars highly arrogant and lazy. A majority of community youngsters drop out of school. They roam around aimlessly in luxury cars and while away their time by drinking alcohol and playing cards.

A boy from this Gujjar community died due to drugs overuse. He was a 17 years old lad. One has to be responsible for his/her actions. There is a strong myth in India that Nigerians are drug dealers.

It’s plain common sense that a foreigner cannot indulge in any illegal activity in any nation on this planet, unless he/she has strong local support and connections but self- introspection is something which these ‘Gujjars’ lack.

When this drug addict died of overdose, the Gujjars started forwarding absurd Whatsapp messages to their fellow community members claiming that this boy was kidnapped by the Nigerians. Forced to consume drugs and killed because they wanted to cook and eat him.

These Whatsapp messages used very crude language against the Nigerians referring to them as ‘Black cannibal Negros’. The message called upon the fellow ‘Gujjars’ to unite and kick Nigerians out of India.

This message bought a lot of Gujjars, who anyways have nothing constructive to do the whole day. They then indulged in unwarranted hooliganism and violence against any black Nigerian/African they came across under the guise of their so called ‘candle march’

Indian authorities just to sweep the matter under the carpet and ‘save face’ arrested 4-5 people. They surely must be out of jail by now because ‘Gujjars’ are a politically influential community therefore, the Indian govt. does not have the guts to take action against them.

The University coordinator of the Association of African students in India (AASI) Ezeugo Nnamdi Lawrence feels there is a greater sense of ‘mistrust’ among African students since the attack on March 27.

“They question who to trust, they worry more about their safety and participate less in extra-curricular activities. I believe the bullying has increased since that day”

Lawrence stated that many final year students are waiting to finish their degree so, they can leave. None of them wishes to ever come back to India again.

Nigerians and African citizens from other African countries visit India primarily to pursue studies and to seek medical treatment for various ailments.

During 2015 more than 10,000 Kenyans came to India to seek specialized treatment spending around $98 million. Africans in India spend money, thereby contributing to the local economy yet, they encounter rampant racism in India.

Difficulty in renting a place, staring and being made fun of by the locals are some of the most common problems. There have been numerous other incidents of racist attacks on African citizens in India.

The racist attitude of Indians towards Africans was pioneered by none other than Gandhi, who enjoys a ‘Demi-God’ status in India. Gandhi called Africans ‘Kaffirs’. This was a derogatory term used for black Africans at that time.

Gandhi held an absurd belief that Indians, along with whites were a superior race to black people. Sadly, a majority of Indians still subscribe to this absurd and illogical view-point.

Indians by and large are obsessed with white skin. Fairness creams sell like ‘hot cakes’ in the country. Matrimonial commercials openly state a ‘fair complexioned’ bride as the primary requirement.

All these private universities in Noida and other regions of India are worthless. Their owners just construct fancy buildings and spend money on advertising making tall/false claims in order to attract students and mint money. African students are just ‘cash cows’ to be milked by such shoddy educational institutes.

African students and medical tourists should completely boycott India in future. There are plenty of alternative destinations, like China where they can come to pursue studies/medical treatment.

Indian students themselves look for opportunities to go and study abroad in U.S, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand and Europe.

India is courting African continent’s support to lobby for a permanent Security Council seat for itself in the United Nations.

Nigeria being one of the biggest economies in the African continent should take a lead in this regard and urge all African nations not to support India’s endeavor due to the high prevalence of racism in India against Africans. 

Africa is a resource rich continent. Annual trade between African countries and India is around $72 Billion. India is not doing any favors or charity to Africans. The citizens of Africa shouldn’t suffer this blatant racism silently.

Nobody chooses their place of birth and skin color. They both are a matter of chance not choice. Racism in any form is a highly condemnable act.

African governments led by Nigeria should take a strong stand and advocate boycott of India, its products and companies. Indians would only wake up when they feel a ‘financial pinch’ otherwise these unfortunate, criminal racist attacks on black Africans would continue unabated.