Senior Congress leader Ravi Naik, a former Chief Minister of Goa, asked for a complete ban on Nigerians entering Bharat, while using a pejorative racist slur to describe them. His comments could not have come at a more inopportune time, given that the the Government of Bharat is trying to assuage feelings of the African community residing in Bharat which has seen several attacks in recent weeks, the worst being the murder of Congolese national Masonda Ketanda Olivier in New Delhi.
Nigerians should be asked to leave from India, we don’t want Nigerian tourists: Former Goa Chief Minister Ravi Naik pic.twitter.com/frTKKII66U
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 7, 2016
According to this news report –
“The Nigerians come here in Delhi, in Bengaluru and do ‘dadagiri’ in the entire country. The Nigerians should be asked to leave India, we don’t want Nigerian tourists. The Government of India should ban Nigerians from entering India,” Naik told ANI.
He further stated that if the Nigerians come to India to study then the state government and the police should keep a strict watch on them. “If they have come to study here, a watch should be kept on them to see whether they really study and go to colleges. They don’t study, rather they indulge in illegal activities,” he added.
Referring to the Nigerians with the pejorative ‘Negroes’, the senior Congress leader also said that the Nigerians have been causing ‘problems’ in Goa as well other metropolitan cities.”
In 2014, law minister of the AAP Government in Delhi, Somnath Bharti, had led a vigilante group that assaulted a group of African women in a midnight raid in south Delhi and made them urinate in public, accusing them of being involved in a drug and prostitution racket.
Such unadulterated bigotry from senior Congress and AAP leaders, two parties considered ‘liberal’ in the Bharatiya political spectrum, tells us all we need to know about how hollow the left-liberal discourse in our country truly is.
Incidentally, the arrests made so far in two cases of assaults on African nationals – the murder of a Congolese in Delhi & a brutal assault on a Nigerian in Hyderabad – also tell a story that is being expectedly underplayed. The prime suspect arrested for the murder in Delhi is Mobin Azad Saifi, while Mohammed Gafoor is the man who beat up the Nigerian student over a parking row. And there is a pattern in the way Muslim men are disproportionately involved in the most violent attacks against Africans –
- Feb 2016 – Two men – Shoaib Ali and Faizal Ali – were arrested for assaulting a Nigerian student in Hyderabad.
- Feb 2016 – A Tanzanian girl student was stripped and other African students assaulted by a Muslim mob enraged over an accident where a Muslim woman died.
Although there is substance to the perception that some African students tend to take advantage of the weak law enforcement in Bharat, bigotry and intolerance against any community must not be tolerated. We should extend a warm welcome to all students and foreign nationals who have come legally to our country, while dealing firmly & lawfully with those who break the law.