African youth on how an Indian mob nearly took his life

Is this what we have to show for Brand India?

 |  3-minute read |   29-05-2016
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Another African attacked in India. Another reason for us to hang our heads in shame.

On May 25, 2016, an African youth was assaulted by a mob in Hyderabad following an argument over parking space.

The government has been trying to portray India as the country to be, seeking to hardsell Brand India to people from all over the world. However, the spate of recent attacks on African youth just goes to show that the country is turning more and more unsafe for the Africans.

Also read: Attack on Tanzanian student not because we're 'racist'

A Tanzanian student was attacked in Bangalore in early 2016.

In 2012, another was brutally assaulted in Punjab sending him into coma for three months. And in Delhi, a former minister led a mob on a vigilante-midnight raid on African women on the charge of running a drug and prostitution racket in 2014.

And on May 20, 2016, a Congolese national was allegedly beaten to death in south Delhi following a quarrel with a group of men over something as petty as hiring an auto-rickshaw.

It is unfortunate that Indians who themselves had been racially abused in the US, UK and Australia from time to time, find it right to chasten Africans, whom they consider to be "racially inferior". And this racism is more pervasive and intimate than the violent attacks. It manifests in the form of daily taunts and abuses, portraying India in a very poor light, severely denting its prestige in the world.

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Here is an account by the youth who was assaulted in Hyderabad, and you shudder when you think about the ordeal that he went through:

At 12pm on May 25, 2016, at Zehara Nagar, Banjara Hills, Road number 10 in Hyderabad, I parked my vehicle at a vacant place close to my house. A man came out of the building behind where I had parked my car and told me to park it somewhere else.

Also read: 7 reasons Indians are the most racist in the world

I asked the man to please show me another place to park but he didnt seem to care. He threatened to destroy my car if I did not move it. I was surprised at the responses he was giving, so I decided to call my landlord to interpret for me what the man was saying since he could not speak English properly.

Then, the man pulled me back, and pushed me, asking me where I lived. I then pushed him back. He was already creating a big scene with his local language- I think it was Telugu.

He took an iron rod wanting to hit me with it. I also took an iron rod close to me in defence. After a mintue of heated arguments, we dropped the rods. Suddenly, two guys came from nowhere and started attacking me. Others joined. All I could do was try to defend myself since I knew I was outnumbered.

With no option, I ran to protect myself. They followed me, shouting in Telugu. Then a guy came out of the blue with an iron rod and hit me on my head. I lost consciousness for a few seconds, but still summoned up strength to try to escape. Others then hit me on the leg with a wooden rod. Finally, the same man that caused the ruckus in the beginning took his bike and hit my leg with it. A policeman came later, and was laughing at me while asking me questions. He did nothing.

(This post first appeared in Foreigners of India's Facebook page.)

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