African Nationals Attacked in India after Locals Site Drugs and Criminality: Complex Causes
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The death of a local youth in Greater Noida is igniting tensions between indigenous communities and African nationals. According to reports, the parents of the youth allege that Nigerian students had enticed the local teenager to take drugs. Therefore, with tensions running high local people targeted Nigerian students and other nationals from Africa.
Similar ethnic issues exist all over the world when indigenous communities suspect foreign nationals of criminality, taking jobs, a clash of culture, sexual crimes, narcotics, and other factors. For example, in South Africa, many attacks have taken place against people from other parts of Africa in relation to crime and the feeling of local people being abandoned. Similarly, in Nigeria, many ethnic massacres have taken place based on a multiple of factors, including religious hatred and clashes over the control of resources.
The Foreign Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, immediately responded to events by calling for an inquiry based on “impartiality.” Images of attacks against Nigerian students – and a mob attack against another foreign national in a shopping mall – have rightly led to enormous condemnations. Yet, the reasons for such hatred, irrespective if it is racial attacks in Africa, Asia, or Europe, are complex and based on different respective issues, whereby local people perceive themselves to be the victims.
In other words, authorities in India must investigate racial attacks and if allegations of crime and drugs have any merit. It is overly simplistic for the mass media to gloss over the mass molestation of women in Cologne, poor South Africans being unable to compete for jobs in deprived areas, narcotic issues related to migrants being involved in drugs, and a host of other factors – for example, the feeling that outside cultures are taking over the indigenous at a rapid speed in several parts of the world.
The BBC reports, “African students living in Greater Noida say they face daily prejudice and are living in fear after two days of violence targeted at them following the mysterious death of a local youth.”
It is important that the reasons why Manish Khari died are investigated thoroughly by local authorities. Similarly, blatant attacks against innocents based on race must be investigated and participants should face the consequences of the law. Likewise, issues involving crime and drugs in Greater Noida must be investigated in order to stem growing hostility in both communities.
Reuters reports, “Africans living in India frequently face discrimination and violence, and are often accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade… Last year, a Congolese national was stoned to death in a dispute over an auto-rickshaw. Earlier, a Tanzanian student was attacked and partially stripped by a mob in Bangalore.”
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