Attacks on African students may hurt India’s image as educational destination

Five people were arrested in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh for an assault on Nigerian students on Monday. The Nigerian students had earlier been attacked on allegations of cannibalism and allegedly for forcing a minor boy into taking drugs.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2017 5:49 pm
Protest by Greater Noida residents against Nigerian students.

Five people were arrested in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh for an assault on Nigerian students on Monday. The Nigerian students had earlier been attacked on allegations of cannibalism and allegedly for forcing a minor boy into taking drugs. The boy died on Saturday. The attack took place during a candlelight march for the deceased boy. The incident of mob justice and racial attack on African students is not a one-off and has become frequent in the last two years. African nationals, usually students, living in India are the most likely victims of such racial attacks. If authorities fail to curb racial attacks, it seems India’s image as an international education destination will take a hit.

According to data from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Sudan and Nigeria feature fourth and fifth on the list of top 10 countries from where students came to study in India. In the data for 2015, 42,420 foreign students were studying in India. Sudanese student count was 2,047 while 1,990 Nigerian students were studying in India. According to data by the UN, at least 11 per cent of the visits by Nigerians to India are for educational purposes.

The Association of African Students came forward in support of the students and warned that if their five demands are not met, they would inform Africans in their respective countries about the racial abuse they face in India. The association demanded maximum security to African students near their residences and said that it would also urge the African Union to end bilateral ties with India. It also threatened that African media outlets, government and heads of state are informed about the racism towards Africans in India. It also threatened to call a nation-wide strike while issuing an advisory to African students in Greater Noida area to stay safe and stay indoors. Most importantly it threatened that it would urge African students to stop keeping India as an educational destination.

Many of the demands, however, may seem a knee-jerk reaction or unfeasible. Many even manifest a growing sense of anger among African students in India. But, the core issue is that India has placed itself as a world-class destination for quality international education. Such incidents hamper India’s bid to transform into a global knowledge production hub.

There is a fear that this resentment would spill over to students from non-African countries who would’ve suffered their own struggles in India. Such an environment, if not tackled with immediate effect, would discourage non-African students to come to India as well. This system of mob justice against foreign students is detrimental to as it allows our prejudices to take over sensibilities.

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  1. K
    Mar 28, 2017 at 8:16 pm
    India is a shameful state - where women get raped, and people get burnt. This is not the holy land it once was. shame and sick
    1. Sundar BN
      Mar 28, 2017 at 3:02 pm
      Send A. Nath to usOFa and see how he's treated by the;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Have them tell him to see that the goons in India behave or else he'd get the same treatment that the African men received
      1. M
        Mar 28, 2017 at 6:53 pm
        Having watched the video clips from the attack on the hapless Nigerian student in the Greater Noida and reading some of the remarks of the contributors of this forum i cannot help but to feel that the great Indian hospitality and respect for guests are unfortunately dispatched to the history book and parallel to vigilante justice used to settle communal scores mob justice is also being used to teach a lesson to these helpless foreign victims. The blame lies with the officers who had arrested and booked these people on suion but failed to gauge the level xenophobic anger in the community or carelessly released the students in the community without proper security given for their protection. One cannot help but to question the motive of the police on this matter. As the students' leaders said elsewhere , if it is not properly managed this bad news will spread like a wild fire and it would badly tarnish the Indian image as good education, health and trade destination. Racism should be tackled worldwide in all its shapes and forms and this beautiful country has a long way to go to educate its potion on this subject!
        1. Mahender Goriganti
          Mar 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm
          absolutely nothing to worry about Indian Image in Nigeria or with anybody else as all Nigerians are crooks. I personally have a lot experience in US with them.
          1. G
            GREAT AFRI
            Mar 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm
            looks indians should be very careful we back in africa is watching ,,,will soon show indians what wickedness is all about..if care is not taken
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