Coming Soon: A Congolese and The Ghastly Story of Indian Racism

Coming Soon: A Congolese and The Ghastly Story of Indian Racism

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Deep in an unknown chilled cage I lie
Frozen with ice of pain and stained by
My hot African blood suddenly gone cold
Someone must tell me…what did I do wrong?”

Masonda Ketada Olivier came to India from Congo, in the hope of a better future. He took up a teaching job only recently. But on 20 May 2016, minutes before his birthday, he was stoned to death in Delhi’s posh south haven, Vasant Kunj.

In his memory, Samuel Panyin Yalley, High Commissioner of Ghana to India, decided to pen down his thoughts in the form of a poem.

In Hyderabad, the week after Olivier’s death, a Nigerian was hit with an iron rod, after a spat over parking. And few days later, seven Africans were attacked in Chhatarpur’s Rajpur Khurd village.

Even though the victims, their families and friends say the attacks were hate crimes, the Indian government and the police has dismissed them as “minor scuffles” and “isolated incidents”. In a press conference, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj categorically said, “the attacks on Africans were not racist”.

The Quint spoke to some of the victims, their family members and locals to understand why Africans are being targeted. Watch the story unfold over the next few days.

(Camera: Sanjoy Deb, Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

With inputs from Parul Agrawal)

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