‘To confront the issue of diversity, India has to start with its darker-skinned countrymen’

'To confront the issue of diversity, India has to start with its darker-skinned countrymen'10.1K
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Racism in Bangalore

As someone who has been fascinated by Indian culture, it has been my wish to visit India soon (“’People like him do drugs, have a high sex drive’: A Nigerian-Indian takes an auto ride in Bangalore”). But as a black Kenyan who keeps abreast with contemporary world affairs, I fear for my skin.

That said, we must also blame Bollywood directors, who shape opinions. Apart from Bandit Queen, I am yet to see another movie where dark-skinned artists are heroes or heroines. I have watched a lot of Bollywood movies. Dark-skinned people are always depicted as stupid, goons, criminals or servants. If India has to confront the issue of diversity with regards to black people from Africa, it has to start from within India, with its darker-skinned countrymen. Peter Githinji


In Kolkata, young relatives who went to Bangalore to study said that if they spoke Bengali on the roadside, they were beaten up for no reason other than the fact that they were outsiders. Shocking? Actually no – it’s all a part of intolerant India that is fast emerging. Or maybe it’s an insecure India. Sandhya


When I read the bit about the auto rickshaw and people being judgmental almost to the point of being dangerous, I was afraid. I was afraid of stepping out of my house before I realised I was 8,500 miles away.

Even now, as I write this message, I feel like I need someone to hug me and tell me it’s okay. I am a Bangalorean and right now, I am ashamed to be one.

And I am sorry. I am sorry on behalf of all of Bangalore. Chinmayi


Really sad to hear about the brutality because of race. And sad that people experience the looks and the comments for being different. It seems people in Bangalore or India in general have a stereotypical attitude towards people of colour. It is probably down to ignorance and lack of awareness and perhaps fear of the different.

As a writer, can you educate the general population by talking about Africa and the people from Africa who are studying or working in Bangalore? You can talk about their culture and lives, positive things they are doing. Wishing you the best for being part of the change. Sonali


Shame on people who say India is tolerant. Kenneth Braganza


I am shocked and alarmed. While there is little I can actually do to make sure that you feel safe, please know that there is at least a small group of people who take this as a concern. The auto driver and the bike driver should feel ashamed of themselves for being unpatriotic and basically just horrible human beings. Please do share more incidents of discrimination you have had on public platforms so that more people will know and understand. Kurian


The strapline of the article mentions “mixed-race journalist”. I think “mixed-ethnicity” is a better word to use. It is widely believed by the scientific community that there are no different “races” in humans worldwide. Also, race refers to a social idea which bears the burden of misuse by late 19th century and early 20th century intellectuals believing that Europeans (or a particular ethnicity) are biologically superior to any other ethnicity. Dhananjay Muli


Shoaib Daniyal’s piece suffers from something I see increasingly in Scroll: the text not delivering the depth implied in the headline; questions asked and not answered (“As Bengaluru mob strips Tanzanian woman, it’s time to ask why bigotry is so ingrained in India”).

The headline says it’s time to ask why bigotry is so ingrained in India, and the strapline asks, “What does this say about India?” Where in the article is the question answered?

Please don’t fall prey to irresponsible, pop journalism subbing. Chintamani Rao


Thank you for your great work. That said, I am outraged and horrified at the incident in Bengaluru.

As a Tanzanian of Indian (Gujarati) descent, I find that this incident clearly highlights the racism and intolerance in India. Indians in Tanzania have been welcomed for hundreds of years and are highly revered, respected members of society and have held high public offices in the past.

Indians in Tanzania are prosperous only because of the welcoming and warm-hearted nature of Tanzanians. It is a shame that Tanzanians are treated so poorly in India. It’s sad that even the Indian government supports and justifies racism, violence and intolerance. This is why any Indian with a sense of justice and fairness wants to leave India. India’s prosperity is nothing but a hell hole if this continues. India will go down in history as the most backward nation. Amit Gadhvi


It is not just the politicians, but actually the majority of Indians (“Why do Indian politicians have such a poor track record on battling racism?”). In general, Indians are racist and very colour conscious. Although most Indians are dark-skinned, they like, want and worship white skin. I bet your mother wants a “gori bahu” as does every mother in the country. This is true regardless of education, position or social status. There is a lot of hypocrisy in Indian culture and the politicians just reflect that. They are no different. Dan


I have been living in Bangalore for the last three to four years in areas where you can find people of all races, colours and complexions.

The incident in Bengaluru does not represent the intolerance of the people. My decades of experience tell me that Kannadigas are gentle, tolerant and friendly.

In my observation, Bangalore is one of the best cauldrons of human experience, where people live together in peace.

Students from more than 25 different countries are studying in the college where I teach. There is no trouble between locals and foreigners.

This great experiment of human co-habitation should not be disturbed by such wrong examples. The intolerance seen in US , Australia and elsewhere is not seen here. Dr M Bapuji


The justice system of the country has totally failed and the common man has lost faith in it (“Why racist attacks alarm liberals – but we ignore the mob violence of everyday India”). They know if the person is either connected to white criminals (politicians), or has enough money to buy these dogs, he can bend justice to his liking and that’s why they want to provide instant justice. If we strengthen our justice delivery system, the common man will not take the law into his own hands, knowing timely punishment will be provided by system. Moreover, he will also be scared that he may be trapped by the law for taking the law into his own hands. Mohan C Bhatt