Africans Complain of Discrimination in Mumbai

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by afako, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    BBC Special Report

    Africans staying in and around India's commercial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), complain of indiscriminate racism and constant police harassment, reports the BBC's Zubair Ahmed.

    Nigerian Sambo Davis is married to an Indian woman and lives in Mumbai.

    All his documents are valid, but he was arrested by the police recently on suspicion of being a drug dealer.

    He and 30 other black Africans were detained for hours before they were let off with an apology.

    But the following day, Mr Davis said that he was shocked to read in local newspapers that they were "arrested for drug peddling".

    "The police treat us Africans like dogs," he says.

    Mr Davis claims he often faces discrimination when he goes to restaurants or when he tries to rent an apartment in gated middle-class communities.

    But he is nevertheless one of the lucky ones. He found a decent flat to rent, thanks to his Indian wife.

    There is no official data on how many Africans live in Mumbai, but since India's economic progress gathered momentum in recent years, many have come to work in and around the city. Unofficial estimates put their numbers at more than 5,000.

    Most of them are engaged in exporting garments to Nigeria and other African countries.

    Many others are students, enrolled in the region's prestigious educational institutions.

    But there are also hundreds of Africans, mostly Nigerians, who live as illegal immigrants in India. They have either "lost" their passports or their visas have "expired".

    Every day, these people play hide-and-seek with the police - if they are caught, they are sent to jail.

    Ikeorah Junior from Lagos runs a cafe for Africans in a crowded market on Mumbai's Mohammed Ali Road.


    "I don't understand why they [police] have to go from house to house to arrest the people who don't have their papers. If they don't have papers, then deport them, don't put them in jail," he says.

    Ahmed Javed, who is in charge of maintaining law and order in the state of Maharashtra, says it is not that simple: "In most cases they have no passports. So, unless their nationalities are determined, they cannot be deported."

    Dozens of Africans have taken up residence on Mira Road, a dusty, nondescript town just outside Mumbai.

    One "illegal immigrant" there asked me for money, claiming he had not eaten for two days.

    He looked worried and told me that he had been approached by drug dealers to work for them. :rofl:

    "I have been here for three years - my visa expired a long time ago. I want to go back home. Please help me, brother," he tells me.

    In this neighbourhood, Negro or kaalia (black in Hindi) are the two words indiscriminately used to describe all black people.

    "We call them Negro because they are black. They look frightening," says one woman.

    "They don't find homes to rent in Mumbai, they only stay in Mira Road. Why? Because of the way they behave. They sell drugs and indulge in other illegal activities. They cannot be trusted," a local man commented, seemingly unaware of the offensive nature of his words.

    'Embarrassed and ashamed'

    Against such a backdrop of pronounced prejudice, Sheeba Rani married Sambo Davis four years ago and the couple have two children.

    Mrs Davis says her parents are enlightened Christians and they blessed them because they thought the marriage was God's wish.

    But, she says, she has been ostracised by many friends, relatives and society since her marriage.

    Mrs Davis is "embarrassed and ashamed" by the behaviour of the Indian people towards black Africans.

    "When I used to go to a mall or if I walked with him, I always wanted him to hold my hand. But when people saw me with him, they thought I was from a bad family or even a prostitute."

    Earlier, she did not understand why black people were being looked down upon, but now she says she does.

    "Because our society is obsessed with white skin. If I had married a white man, I would have gained more friends and society's approval too."

    Mr Davis believes that the discrimination is solely "because I am a black man".

    "It's because I am from Africa, I am a Nigerian. I think Indians see us as inferior."

    Yet despite the discrimination they face, nearly all Africans the BBC interviewed said they had a soft spot for their adopted country.

    They say the relations between India and Africa are "rock solid". Many argued that Indians and Africans are brothers.

    "We look after Indians in our countries. They have become rich there. All we want here is for Indians to understand we are not drug dealers. We are not violent. We are just like them."


    All Blacks from Bombay should be sent to Birtudistan where they can help the Pakis in Grooming the White Girls. :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
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  3. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Just 5000 Africans in Bombay ? Delhi probably has 10 times that figure.
     
  4. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    :facepalm:

    Quite shameful... Then again in Mumbai, Maharashtran farmers get pissed at by politicians.
     
  5. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    Yes, BBC, the grand daddy of all English media outlets in India and many other countries. Their motto 'we teach how to hate coolies intellectually and snobbishly'.
     
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  6. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    but bbc reporting it cant be digested
     
  7. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Nigerians complaining? Nigeria has shariat law in many provinces. Nigerians are new drug mafia all over the world. Ever heard of Nigerian scam?

    Sure, every nigerian is not a drug peddler, but most are. As for Africans looking after Indians in their countries, that is complete lie. Uganda, Zanzibar are there. What about S.Africa? You know who destroyed and burnt down Gandhi's ashram? Blacks.
     
  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Is this only about Nigerians or Africans? I know one Kenyan colleague who easily found an apartment in a well to do middle class community in Mumbai.

    Indians, however, tend to be very parochial, often in an offensive way, and we need to acknowledge and rectify it. Just like the Nigerian Scam is a reality, Indians ill treating Africans on account of their ethnicity is also a reality.
     
  9. tramp

    tramp Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think we should stop shooting the messenger. The aversion to black skin is seriously ingrained in the Indian psyche. More so towards African skin. And less said about the profiling capabilities of the police the better. Because an average constable is untrained in the matters of human rights and racism. They have such pathetic service conditions, an average constable's life revolves around the 'hafta' he gets from petty criminals and vendors in his beat.
     
  10. tramp

    tramp Senior Member Senior Member

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    What is it with you guys? How can you blame being profiled in the US when you do the same to others? So what Nigeria as a country has Sharia in force? Does that make all Nigerians subhumans?
    Any rancour against Indians in Africa stems from economic issues like jobs and is of recent origin. In South Africa it was traditionally the Whites who discriminated against Indians.
     
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  11. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Do you live in some inferiority complex ?

    This is not the first time you came with your racist comments..

     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Most Nigerians are drug peddlers? Have you any reference that could corroborate that claim?
     
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  13. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    No. Most drug peddlers are Nigerians. Even today's paper reported the arrest of a Nigerian in drug scam. Police of course pay special attention to drug trade and peddlers thereof.
     
  14. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Like it or not, it is true.
     
  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Population of Nigeria is 170 million. Even if I take 'most' as 51%, so you are saying 86.7 million people in Nigeria are drug peddlers?

    Source: Nigeria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Negros in India never do white color jobs. They always indulge in lottery scam,credit/debit card scam and drugs. So if police will not harass them what else they expect "" Bharat Ratan"".

    i still remember, there were lot of Negros as student in Chandigarh in 1990 ties. they all drive 3rd hand Yezdi motorcycle but now it seems they all migrate to Bombay
     
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  17. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Never buy Cocaine from Africans. Ask Rahul Mahajan.
     
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  18. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  19. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

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    The same Mumbai was bouncing on Akon's beats. Its not about black skin. Many of them are into illegal activities. Always into some drug or scam racket. How can they just loose their passport. If they didn't do it intentionally than why did they not bother to get a new passport from heir embassy.
     
  20. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    It will take time for people to adjust their mindset, most of the Africans live in Mira Road, the place is notorious for all the wrong reasons.
     
  21. GPM

    GPM Tihar Jail Banned

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    Yes. My aunt had rented out a floor to three of them. They were quite a nuisance, noisy, drinking parties, coming late etc. One day she had enough of it and stormed upto them. In her broken English she took them to task: You study, stay. No study, no stay. No late come, no noises. I catch loitering out classes, I thrash you. That 5 ft zero inch bundle of rage taking on boys towering at least 12 inches above her. But next day on, they behaved, completed their study with high marks and left thanking her.

    In Chandigarh that was the usual complaint, till people stopped letting their houses to them.

    BS about Indians hating black skins. As if Krishna is not kala or Kali Mata is hated.
     
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