Not many people would believe that racism is practiced in India by some people, particularly against black people. During one such incident recently, a number of black African teams visited India and took part in the Under 17 Football World Cup organized by FIFA. While one of the teams was travelling, the flight attendant in an Indigo flight sprayed perfume several times in the section they were seated. It is not clear whether she was acting on her own or was directed by someone. However, the source, who stayed with the team during their entire stay, says, on condition of strict anonymity, that it was done so many times that he was forced to object as he is allergic to strong smells.

When asked, whether the players noticed it, the source just said: They are pretty much used to such behavior and therefore just ignore it.

However, it indicates the racism infested mindset where black African people are considered dirty and smelly, although there are Indians much worse than that.

In another incident, one of the visiting black African teams approached a local Delhi football club for coaching assignments. Keeping in view their underdeveloped economies and their belonging to countries where hunger, poverty and underdevelopment are rampant, it is understandable that they wanted to build financial relationships with people.

However, they were rejected by the team, their color had preceded their reputation. The source says that when he asked why the local football club didn’t consider the African players, the person in charge said: It is always better to hire some one from Belgium or Spain. They look better.

This is not the end; there are several such incidents which need to be brought to light to expose the prejudice that we Indians harbor towards blacks.

No wonder, both the football coaches, that is, those for the national side as well as the U-17 side are from Europe. British Stephen Constantine is the coach for the Indian football team, which is now ranked 107 in the FIFA rankings. However, it is another matter that the team has been performing badly. India has a fascination for Europe despite the fact that the game is played all across the world. There are many other regions of the world where football reigns supreme and which could provide valuable contribution to building India’s national side. For instance, Africa and South America are known powerhouses with teams like Mali and Ghana doing exceptionally well even during the current Under-17 World Cup. Same with South America, which has teams like Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Columbia.

However, the color is of utmost importance.

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