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‘Know Us Before You Judge Us’: African Students Speak to The Quint

Members of the Association of African Students in India spoke to The Quint about the recent racial attacks.

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The last few weeks have been tense for African students living in India. There have been three instances of racial attacks in and around Greater Noida. “We don’t know if Indians are our friends or enemies,” Lawrence, a member of the Association of African Students in India told The Quint.

The visibly perturbed and emotional students made one plea to the government – ensure legal action against those who attacked African nationals in the country. They say that they will stay back, but only if they feel safe in the country.

“We need to understand each other. There is a huge disconnect between the African community and the Indian community, and we need to bridge the barrier. It’s only then that things will change,” Presidoe Okunugi said.

Presidoe, like many others from his country, is a big fan of Amitabh Bachchan. Bollywood songs, he tells me, is also big in Nigeria. “It’s heartbreaking, then, that these attacks happen here,” he said.

For a country that has been at the receiving end of racism itself, it’s highly deplorable and hypocritical that some people in India are driven by prejudices based on colour.

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