Sunday 29 May 2016

A National Disgrace

I was in Toronto, Canada some years back attending a conference on Refugee Law at York University.

 There were delegates from many countries, including South Africa.

 When my turn came to speak, I stood up and said, addressing the South Africans, who were all blacks :

 " You say you were oppressed by the white apatheid regime. But has your behaviour been any better ? When refugees came from Zimbabwe to South Africa with only the clothes on their backs, who were oppressed by the tyrannical regime in Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe, you should have been kind to them and given them all help. They were your black brothers of Africa.These people had lost everything, and needed help.. But instead, your people physically attacked them, killed many, and raped their women. What kind of behaviour was this ? "

 At this one South African High Court jJudge stood up and said :" Justice Katju, I apologize for the behaviour of my countrymen "

 I am reminded of this, because while we complain of the oppression by the Britishers during their rule in our country, we commit atrocities on people of Africa who are here as students, etc. These people are our guests, and we should help them and be kind to them.. In Sanskrit it is said " Atithi Devo Bhav " ( i.e. a guest is akin to God ). But do we live upto these high sounding words ?  Instead,  Africans have been regularly attacked in our country, and such incidents are continuing.

 This is a national disgraced.

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