Attacks on African NOT Racist! We Live With South Indians: BJP MP

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A fortnight ago, five Africans have been brutally attacked by the locals of Greater Noida in UP. They were attacked under the false accusations of providing drugs to a Class 10 student who died of drug overdose. This incident along with the Benguluru attacks and the Mumbai attacks raised questions about the safety of African students in India.

Al Jazeera, a popular news daily held a discussion about this issue. BJP MP Tarun Vijay appeared as a panelist on the debate. He denied that the attacks on Africans were racist and rubbished the allegations of racism in India. He said, “To say that Indians can be racist is a most vicious thing because we worship a black god, Krishna is black. So how can we possibly be racist if we worship a black god, right?

Tarun Vijay, who is also the head of India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group also said that racism is an alien concept in India. He added to his argument that, “If we were racist, why would we have the entire South (India)? Which is you know, completely Tamil, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra. Why do we live with them (if we are racist)? We have blacks, black people around us. You are denying your own nation, you are denying your ancestry, you are denying your culture.”

As part of Panel, Vijay also explained a national situation that, “Sometime back, there were Biharis who were attacked in Maharashtra. There were Marathis who were threatened in Bihar. And so on, but they can’t be racist attacks. There have been many such attacks, one community reacting against another community – for certain reasons, economy or just like that, criminalized behavior needs no logic.”

Nityanand Jayaram, an environmentalist activist from Tamil Nadu reacted to Vijay’s comments. He wrote on his Facebook account: “Black is a color, not a personality trait. Who is the ‘we’ that he is referring to? Does it include us darkies from the South? Tarun Vijay is merely stating a fact when he says that this nation has a diversity of skin tones.”