Manipur human rights activist Irom Sharmila joined African students in Delhi on Monday to raise their voices against increasing instances of racial discrimination in India.
“The world is a circle, we all are connected in some way or the other. We cannot live individually, so these differentiations, on grounds of race, shape, colour, language, et cetera, is wrong and pointless,” said Sharmila at a press conference organised by the Association of African Students in India (AASI) here on Monday.
The press meet comes following a series of racial attacks against African students in India, specifically keeping in mind the mob attacks against African nationals in Greater Noida on March 27.
Samuel Jack, president of AASI, said that following the attack in Greater Noida, international passports of five African nationals -- Said Kabir Abdullahi, Said Abubakar Abdullahi, Adamu Usman, Mohammad Amir Zakari Yau and Abdulkadir Usman -- remain withheld by police.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Suniti, superintendent of Police (rural), Greater Noida, said: “We are aware about the case of Manish Khari’s death and the subsequent violence that followed in Greater Noida. We will soon inquire about the status of passports that have been allegedly seized from the African students.”
The conference, aimed at building solidarity and spreading awareness about racial discrimination in Indian society, identified a series of cases of attacks against Africans from across India, which they wish to put forth to the government and appeal for constructive measures.
Claiming that injustice is in fact one and that the root of racism same, the association stated its extended alliance and solidarity with individuals from the Northeast and Dalit and Bahujan backgrounds.
“Even if our origins and struggles to assert our rights have their own unique histories, the antipathy meted out to different communities in India seems to have been emerging from the same source,” added Samuel.
Irom Sharmila was present with partner Desmond Coutanho in solidarity with the cause.