ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Attacks on Africans

We need to address the deep prejudices of India's culture, society and state.

India suffered a rare humiliation, but one which surely was long overdue. Ambassadors and diplomatic envoys from 54 African countries boycotted the Government of India’s “Africa Day” celebrations recently. It was unprecedented as a diplomatic snub, given that 54 different countries had come together to send out such a strong message.

The immediate provocation for the boycott was the murder of Congolese national, Masonda Ketanda Olivier, who was beaten to death in the national capital. The government seemed to react quickly after the intent of the African envoys to collectively boycott the government’s programme was known. Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj sent off a series of tweets—that curious form of communication by government functionaries where we never really know when the public relations end and official action begins—stating the government’s commitment to the safety and security of “African nationals” in India and asking her junior colleague, V K Singh, the retired general of the army, to “meet the heads of missions of African countries in Delhi and assure them.”

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