The Bangalore incident where a Manipuri student was racially assaulted has focused attention on issues such sexual assaults, law enforcement and safety in the city

manipuri student Racist Incident in Bangalore Indicates Rising Intolerance & Discrimination

  1. In another dismaying and bewildering incident of racist intolerance, a youth from the North East region training to be an engineer in Bangalore was beaten up. In the Indiranagar area of Bangalore, Michael Lamjathang Haokip from Manipur and his friends were beaten up earlier this week. The engineering student was asked why he was speaking English and not the state language Kannada. When he ignored his harassers, they set upon him and he sustained injuries to his legs, face and back. (Source – Times of India)
  2. His attackers kept telling the student from Manipur that he ought to be able to speak the local language; that if he could eat the local food he ought to be able to speak the language as well. ‘If you outsiders know how to eat food that is produced in Karnataka, you must also know to speak Kannada. This is India not China.‘ (Source – Yahoo)
  3. Firstly it is offensive that Indians are referred to as ‘Chinese’ because of certain facial features. Secondly there is the antagonism and hostility towards anything perceived as from ‘outside’ which is highly problematic. Thirdly there is a sense of entitlement that presumes to own public spaces simply because of an accident of birth.
  4. northeastern students fleeing bangalore Racist Incident in Bangalore Indicates Rising Intolerance & DiscriminationUnfortunately, incidents of racism in Bangalore aren’t new or unusual. It is shameful how, there was a veritable exodus of northeastern students from Bangalore following threats of communal violence against them. While the reason behind this was the communal situation in the home state of those students, the fact remains that the students left because of a threat perception and the feeling of being unsafe in Bangalore.
  5. There is also a spike in crimes of a sexual nature in the city – crimes against women and children in Bangalore have been reported with distressing regularity in recent times. The sexual assault of a 6 year old student by two teachers during school hours had horrified the city’s residents. Soon after this incident was the incident of Vibgyor school where a 63 year old guest teacher sexually abused an 8 year old student (Source 1 and Source 2 – India Today)
  6. Recently a woman working in a bar in Bangalore had also alleged rape. She alleged that a real estate agent based out of the city who was a regular customer at Residency Road bar she worked in, had threatened and raped her at his farmhouse. (Source – The Hindu)
  7. In the Frazer Town area of Bangalore, a 22 year old female was abducted and sexually assaulted in a car. The attack also involved an extortion attempt. (Source – Bangalore Mirror)
  8. crimes agasint women bangalore Racist Incident in Bangalore Indicates Rising Intolerance & DiscriminationBangalore has the dubious reputation for being the second most unsafe city for women in the country, second only to notorious Delhi. 2,263 crimes against women were reported in the city in the year 2012. More numbers of crimes such as human trafficking, dowry deaths and rape have been reported from the city that professes to be India’s answer to the Silicon Valley.
  9. The welcoming face of India’s supposed IT capital has certainly been shown in a highly questionable light in recent times. On what basis can India present Bangalore’s crowded streets, residents’ hostility and suspiciousness of outsiders and ineptitude of law enforcement agencies as a viable destination for international investors and visitors? Seeing the number of racist incidents and sexual attacks in particular, Bangalore seems very far from the Silicon Valley that it wants to become.

Image 1 source – CNN IBN Twitter Image 2 source – HT, Image 3 Source – The Hindu

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