What advertising in India taught you

IndiaBox as a breeding ground for racism

Actually, the best way to stroll through the narrow streets of the Rajpur Khurd district in New Delhi is just before sunset. It's not so hot anymore, children fly kites, neighbors chat. But Ann Mwangi, a medical student from Kenya, hurries past everyone.

"I have to go home quickly, it will be late. And then I can no longer be on the street, because the people here are killing African women. Not far from here they murdered an African girl. They stabbed her with knives. Her body." was all mangled. "

In fact, an African was ambushed and killed in the Indian capital in May. In a different quarter, but also through Rajpur Khurd, where a particularly large number of Africans live, groups of long-time residents have moved and threatened and attacked their neighbors with their much darker skin color.

"They abuse us. They are racists. When I walk around here, children throw stones at me. I'm not safe here."

Africa's diplomats lodged a complaint

After the murder in May, the assembled diplomats from Africa complained and threatened not to send any more students to India in the future. That was not in the interests of the Indian government. It is keen to have good relations with the African states and, for example, generously awards scholarships to students from there. India has a large population but few raw materials. Africa, on the other hand, offers mineral resources, arable land and sales markets. And so it is not only European, American and Chinese business people who travel massively in Africa, but also Indian ones.

"My father's bosses are Indian. The company is owned by Indians in Kenya. They live with us. And we have to treat them well. But when we come to their country, they treat us like shit."

To smooth things over, the President of India had to step in. He called the murders and attacks on Africans "isolated cases" and promised that the authorities would proactively ensure the safety of Africans in India. And India's foreign minister tweeted: "I appeal to my fellow Indians: If you meet an African citizen in the near future, please shake his hand and say: India loves you." Ranbeer Rathi, one of the long-time residents of Rajpur Khurd, shakes his head.

"Some Africans are good, others are not, but some really behave badly, especially at night. They drink alcohol in public. And what they wear! That doesn't fit our culture. When there are arguments, for example when they don't pay their rent , then they get violent sometimes. We don't like the culture of the Africans. When they are out at night, we don't let our daughters out. "

Rajpur Khurd was a village until the rapidly growing Delhi annexed it a few years ago. The inhabitants had the same occupation: farmer. They celebrated the same festivals, believed in the same gods and only married one another. They belonged to the same caste as they say in India. In a caste society, it is common practice to perceive someone as a member of their caste or group - and attribute traits to them before you have even met them personally. One from the merchant caste has business acumen, one from the priest caste is educated. Often this is actually the case. But this attitude is also a breeding ground for racism.

Fair-skinned people are considered good and powerful

Light-skinned people are good and powerful, dark-skinned people bad and weak: this is what the British colonial rulers taught their Indian subjects. To this day, it is suggested by the fair-skinned stars of Bollywood films - or the ubiquitous advertising for skin lighteners.

Such creams are widely used in India. Because many Indians have very dark skin themselves - and therefore, for example, poorer chances on the marriage market. And people like Binalakshmi Nepram live in the north-east of the country: with almond-shaped eyes and flat noses. She grew up like any other Indian woman, she says, but when she came to Delhi she was called slit eye.

"It's not just about swearwords. Many of our boys and girls were murdered in Delhi because of deep-seated racism."