'We are scared' - Africans in India say racism is constant

Fear and anger. Those are the emotions that shadow Odole Emmanuel Opeyemi every time the Nigerian man steps out of his New Delhi apartment.

Every encounter with Indians is fraught with those feelings, whether he's taking an autorickshaw or the Metro, buying vegetables or trying to find a spot to park his car.

"When I sit down in the Metro, people sit away from me. Even old men and women will stand up as if any contact with me will give them a disease," he said, describing the mixture of fear and revulsion with which most Indians treat Africans.

"We are scared. We don't fight back because we know what will happen," he said. "They will break your head with a brick."

Opeyemi is among hundreds of thousands of Africans in India, drawn by better education and work opportunities. For them rampant racism is a daily battle in a country where their dark skin places them at the lower end of a series of strictly observed social hierarchies.
"I'm scared," said Nancy Joseph, a 23-year-old law student from South Sudan. That fear keeps her from visiting friends at night. The autorickshaw driver may refuse to take her. Groups of Indian men could gather and call her vile names just for fun.

"Delhi is the worst city I've ever lived in," said Eddie King, a student from Nigeria. He hasn't made a single friend in the year that he has spent in the country.

"I can't talk to my classmates. They won't even answer me. They pretend they don't understand."

The daily indignities Africans suffer usually go undocumented both by the police and local media.

On May 20, when Congolese student Masunda Kitada Oliver was fatally attacked in a dispute over hiring an autorickshaw in New Delhi. Three men who insisted they had hired the vehicle beat him up and hit him on the head with a rock, killing him, according to police.

In February, a Tanzanian woman was beaten and stripped naked by a mob in the southern city of Bangalore after a Sudanese student's car hit an Indian woman. In September 2014, a video of three African men being beaten inside a security booth at a New Delhi Metro station went viral. For several minutes a large mob beat the men with bare hands and sticks and shoes as they climbed up the walls of the glass booth in terror. The police were absent.

These incidents made it to the local newspapers. Hundreds more do not.

Source: Yahoo news (AP.org)
'We are scared' - Africans in India say racism is constant 'We are scared' - Africans in India say racism is constant Reviewed by Angel M on 06:58 Rating: 5

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