Indian inspires S Korea’s fight against racism
Bonojit Hussain never imagined he would create history in South Korea. But the 28-year-old Indian research professor at Seoul’s SungKongHoe University is behind the Asian tiger’s bid to pass its first anti-racism bills. Rahul Karmakar reports.india Updated: Sep 23, 2009 00:59 IST
|Hussain says he was abused because of his skin colour.|
It all began on July 10 when Hussain and his companion Jisun Han were travelling by bus in Seoul.
Chang-Woo Park, a co-passenger, abused Hussain, calling him a “dirty son of a bitch” and an “Arab”.
“Some people judge me to be a poor migrant worker due to my skin colour,” Hussain, a history graduate from Delhi University who has been in South Korea for two years, told Hindustan Times in an email interview.
Chang-Woo did not spare Jisun, calling her “Jocheon” (Korean word for Japanese colonisers) and asking if it felt “good to date a black guy”. He also kicked her.
When Hussain complained to the police, they refused to believe him.
He then filed a petition with the country’s National Human Rights Commission.
Hussain argued that his personal rights were infringed because the country did not have a law to punish racial discrimination.
The matter went to court. In a landmark judgment earlier this month, Chang-Woo was indicted for racial abuse.
Since then, Hussain has been getting invitations for radio talks and TV interviews almost every day.
Moreover, he is the reason South Korea’s National Assembly is discussing two anti-racism bills these days.