Just minutes before his birthday, Masonda Ketanda Olivier was beaten to death. The Congolese national was confronted by a mob of men late at night last Friday in New Delhi and killed. Police said the incident was a dispute over the hiring of an autorickshaw; Olivier’s friend, an Ivorian national, said it was a clear hate crime, with racial epithets repeatedly invoked.
This week, irate African diplomats in the Indian capital pointed to Olivier’s murder as evidence of wider discrimination and bigotry against black people who visit and live in India. Olivier, who reports indicate was about to turn 24, was teaching French.
“The Indian government is strongly enjoined to take urgent steps to guarantee the safety of Africans in India including appropriate programmes of public awareness that will address the problem of racism and Afro-phobia in India,” Alem Tsehage, the Eritrean ambassador and the diplomat representing other African envoys in New Delhi, said in a statement. They also warned against new batches of African students enrolling in Indian universities.
A number of African diplomats chose to boycott a planned event celebrating the history of India-Africa ties on Thursday.
On the same day, on the other side of the Himalayas, an ad for a Chinese laundry detergent went viral.
Are you still under the impression that racism is a western issue inexistent in India? Watch these African nationals speak about their experiences in India. It will open your eyes.
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