Topic: Combating Racism and Xenophobia
Similar to the majority of countries, India has had a xenophobic and racist past. Before India was given its independence from England, racial tensions were extremely high between Indians and Europeans. This was due to the lack of respect given to the Indian people from the British, as the Indians were seen as inferior because of their skin color. The current problem resides in the form of racism and xenophobia toward Africans of different nationalities and Pakistanis. In India, Africans are often generalized by being called “Nigerians” in a demeaning way. They are also typically thought of as drug dealers and burglars, and criminals in general.
There are very few laws that protect minority groups in India. In the Indian constitution, article 14 and 15 explain that whether from India or not, the legal punishments are to be fair if the circumstances are alike, however if the circumstances are different, then the punishment and/or handling of the situation can be different. This leaves a wide range of room for interpretation and can be dangerous for minority groups, including Africans, if their fate is to be decided by someone who shares the views previously stated.
However, in the case of Pakistan, India will not seek to comfort Pakistanis in the country. Since 1947 India and Pakistan have been going head to head in efforts to control disputed territory north of Indian and east of Pakistan known as Kashmir. As Pakistan’s acts of aggression toward India continues, India has no desire to settle this dispute until they agree that the territory of Kashmir will be unilaterally controlled by its rightful owner, India.
India recognizes the issue of potential growth in racial discrimination against Africans and other ethnic groups, and would consider putting better defined laws in place. In addition, India will not proceed in considering action to protect Pakistanis as a whole.
- Jack Hollis