End Race and Colour Prejudice against African Students in India
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We are products of an Indian culture which has a syncretic tradition. The two phrases which best illustrate the culture of our country with respect to visitors are:
वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम - The whole world is a family
अतिथि देवो भव: - Guests are like God
Lately however there have been shocking incidents where young visitors to our country from Africa, most of whom have come to our country for higher education, were viciously attacked by mobs in several of our cities.
In most such cases the main reason for this unspeakable atrocity seems to be the colour of the victims' skins.
This is not acceptable.
This is not Indian.
This is not human.
The problem is not restricted to a single part of the country, and seems to afflict many cities.
In several cases the excuse of the assaulting mob is that the victims of their violence deserved what they got because they were indulging in illegal activities. However even if some one is suspected to be carrying out illegal activity the solution is not to take the law in one's own hands. If we claim to be living in a country ruled by our Constitution and by our Law, we must be able to demonstrate it by following the Law ourselves, and letting the police handle the case.
The time has come to stop beating about the bush. Let us not wait till the world starts calling us racist.
If we want to be true to ourselves, true to our Humanity, true to our Constitution and Laws, and want to be considered as a civilised nation standing proudly in our place in the comity of nations, then race prejudice and colour prejudice - indeed prejudice of any kind - can have no role to play in our affairs.
I therefore petition the Union Home Minister of India to:
- Set up a Task Force to immediately look into the problem of tackling prejudice and suggest solutions
- Impress upon the Chief Ministers of all states the unacceptability of such behaviour, persuade them to ensure quick action against those who take the law in our own hands, and impress on them the need to sensitise general public about race sensitivity
I also petition the Union Minister for Human Resources Development (who also has the Education portfolio) to:
- Consider including Race Sensitivity as a topic in the centrally administered curricula for school education and higher education
- To convene a meeting of the Education Ministers of all states to stress the need for the same to be included in the curricula administered by individual states
Finally, I petition each and every one of my fellow citizens to introspect and analyse the state of affairs, and to forcefully speak out against race and colour prejudice.
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