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Indophobia refers to hostility towards Indians and Indian culture. Indophobia is formally defined in the context of anti-Indian prejudice in East Africa as follows: "Indophobia is a tendency to react negatively towards people of Indian extraction against aspects of Indian culture and normative habits." Its opposite is Indophilia.
By the late 19th century, fear had already begun in North America over Chinese immigration supplying cheap labour to lay railroad tracks, mostly in California and elsewhere in the West Coast (see also Sinophobia). In xenophobic jargon common in the day, ordinary workers, newspapers, and politicians uniformly opposed this "Yellow Peril". The common cause to eradicate Asians from the workforce gave rise to the Asiatic Exclusion League. When the fledgling Indian community of mostly Punjabi Sikhs settled in California, the xenophobia expanded to combat not only the East Asian Yellow Peril, but now the immigrants from British India, the "Turban Tide", equally referred to as the "Hindoo Invasion" [sic].
The relation of "Indomania" and "Indophobia" in colonial era British Indology has been discussed by American Indologist Thomas Trautmann (1997). Trautmann finds that Indomania had become a norm in early 19th century Britain as the result of a conscious agenda of Evangelicalism and Utilitarianism, especially by Charles Grant and James Mill. Historians have noted that during the British Empire "evangelical influence drove British policy down a path that tended to minimize and denigrate the accomplishments of Indian civilization and to position itself as the negation of the earlier British Indomania that was nourished by belief in Indian wisdom."
In Charles Grant's highly influential "Observations on the ...Asiatic subjects of Great Britain" (1796), Grant criticized the Orientalists for being too respectful to Indian culture and religion. His work tried to determine the Hindu's "true place in the moral scale", and he alleged that the Hindus are "a people exceedingly depraved". Grant however believed that Great Britain's duty was not simply to expand its rule in India and exploit the subcontinent for its commercial interests, but to civilise and Christianise the natives.
Lord Macaulay, serving on the Supreme Council of India between 1834 and 1838, was instrumental in creating the foundations of bilingual colonial India. He convinced the Governor-General to adopt English as the medium of instruction in higher education from the sixth year of schooling onwards, rather than Sanskrit or Arabic which were then used in the institutions supported by the East India Company. He claimed: "I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia." He wrote that Arabic and Sanskrit works on medicine contain "medical doctrines which would disgrace an English Farrier - Astronomy, which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school - History, abounding with kings thirty feet high, and reigns thirty thousand years long - and Geography made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter".
One of the most influential historians of India during the British Empire, James Mill was criticised for being prejudiced against Hindus. The Indologist Horace Hayman Wilson wrote that the tendency of Mill's work is "evil". Mill claimed that both Indians and Chinese people are cowardly, unfeeling and mendacious. Both Mill and Grant attacked Orientalist scholarship that was too respectful of Indian culture: "It was unfortunate that a mind so pure, so warm in the pursuit of truth, and so devoted to oriental learning, as that of Sir William Jones, should have adopted the hypothesis of a high state of civilization in the principal countries of Asia."
However, the Indologists were also often under pressure from missionary and colonial interest groups, and were frequently criticised by them.
Stereotypes of Indians intensified during and after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, known as "India's First War of Independence" to the Indians and as the "Sepoy Mutiny" to the British, when Indian sepoys rebelled against the British East India Company's rule in India. Allegations of war rape were used as propaganda by British colonialists in order to justify the colonization of India. While incidents of rape committed by Indian rebels against British women and girls were generally uncommon during the rebellion, this was exaggerated to great effect by the British media in order to justify continued British colonialism in the Indian subcontinent.
At the time, British newspapers had printed various apparently eyewitness accounts of British women and girls being raped by Indian rebels, but with little physical evidence to support these accounts. It was later found that some of these accounts were false stories created in order to paint the native people of India as savages who need to be civilized by British colonialists, a mission sometimes known as "The White Man's Burden". One such account published by The Times, regarding an incident where 48 British girls as young as 10-14 had been raped by Indian rebels in Delhi, was criticized as a false propaganda story by Karl Marx, who pointed out that the story was written by a clergyman in Bangalore, far from the events of the rebellion. A wave of anti-Indian vandalism accompanied the Rebellion. When Delhi fell to the British, the city was ransacked, the palaces looted and the mosques desecrated in what has been called 'a deliberate act of unnecessary vandalism'.
Despite the questionable authenticity of many colonial accounts regarding the rebellion, the stereotype of the Indian "dark-skinned rapist" occurred frequently in English literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The idea of protecting British "female chastity" from the "lustful Indian male" had a significant influence on the policies of the British Raj in order to prevent racial miscegenation between the British elite and the native Indian population. While some restrictive policies were imposed on British females in order to "protect" them from miscegenation, most of these discriminatory policies were directed against native Indians. For example, the 1883 Ilbert Bill, which would have granted Indian judges the right to judge British offenders, was opposed by many British colonialists on the grounds that Indian judges cannot be trusted in dealing with cases involving the rape of British females.
Contemporary Indophobia has risen in the western world, particularly the United States, on account of the rise of the Indian American community and the increase in offshoring of white-collar jobs to India by American multinational corporations. Societal prejudices against South Asians in the west manifest through instances of intimidation and harassment, such as the case of the anti-Hindu Dotbusters street gang.
||The examples and perspective in this article may not include all significant viewpoints. (December 2011)|
Anti-Indian sentiments, coupled with anti-Hindu prejudices have existed in Pakistan since its formation though they have waxed and waned at various times. According to Tufts University professor Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, Indophobia in Pakistan increased with the ascendancy of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami under Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.
British diplomacy and supremacy in arms continuously displaced Muslim power which a wide variety of religious and cultural responses from the Muslim populace were unable to stop. Mulsims of India feared numerical majority of Hindus who would gain political ascendance after the end of British Raj. This view was bolstered by the occurrence of religious riots in India such as the 1927 Nagpur riots. The Two-Nation Theory was enunciated by Allama Iqbal, which found support with the All India Muslim League and eventually culminated in the Partition of India and formation of Pakistan in 1947.
The Partition of India was accompanied by several acts of genocide and hundreds of thousands of deaths by people from both sides of the border leading to lasting memories of pain and anger amongst the surviving refugee populations on both sides. In Pakistan, this contributed to Indophobia. In an interview with Indian news channel CNN-IBN Pakistani cricketer and politician Imran Khan said "I grew up hating India because I grew up in Lahore and there were massacres of 1947, so much bloodshed and anger. But as I started touring India, I got such love and friendship there that all this disappeared."
The Two-Nation Theory predicates that India at the time of Partition was not a nation and in its extreme interpretation postulates that the Indian Hindus and Indian Muslims constituted nations which cannot co-exist "in a harmonious relationship".
According to Husain Haqqani after partition Pakistan faced multiple challenges to its survival. At the time Pakistan's secular leaders decided to use Islam as a rallying cry against perceived threats from India which was predominantly Hindu. Unsure of Pakistan's future they deliberately promoted anti India sentiment with "Islamic Pakistan" resisting a "Hindu India".
According to Tufts University professor Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, Anti-Indian sentiments, coupled with anti-Hindu prejudices have existed in Pakistan since its formation, alternated with military dictatorship, and India being a secular state with a civilian government. Indophobia in Pakistan increased with the ascendancy of the militant Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami under Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.
In his article "The future of Pakistan" published by Brookings Institution American South Asia expert Stephen P. Cohen notes Pakistan-India relationship as a never ending spiral of sentiments against each other.
According to Sustainable Development Policy Institute since the 1970s Pakistani school textbooks have systematically inculcated hatred towards India and Hindus. According to this report 'Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus. For the upholders of the Ideology of Pakistan, the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence the Hindus have to be painted as negatively as possible' A 2005 report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace a non profit organization in Pakistan, found that Pakistan Studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus. 'Vituperative animosities legitimize military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege mentality. Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site to represent India as a hostile neighbor' the report stated. 'The story of Pakistan’s past is intentionally written to be distinct from, and often in direct contrast with, interpretations of history found in India. From the government-issued textbooks, students are taught that Hindus are backward and superstitious.' Further the report stated 'Textbooks reflect intentional obfuscation. Today’s students, citizens of Pakistan and its future leaders are the victims of these blatant lies'
In 1971 rising political discontent in East Pakistan led to calls for independence which were brutally suppressed by Pakistan Army leading to Bangladesh Liberation War. When India intervened a brief Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 followed culminating in formation of Bangladesh. According to Ardeshir Cowasjee in West Pakistan the political and military leadership whipped up anti India sentiment with the slogan "crush India" trying to convince the people that the only issue in east Pakistan was India supporting a secessionist movement.
Writing for Middle East Research and Information Project Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy states that Anti Indian sentiment is instilled in Pakistani soldiers early in their training at Cadet College Hasan Abdal and Cadet College Petaro. He also opines that in order to prosper Pakistan needed to overcome its hatred for India.
The reification of symbolised nationalistic jingoism between the two nations are the "Beating the Retreat" spectacles at sundown at the Wagah and Fazilka borders. The governments of both countries agreed to tone down the aggression as part of Confidence Building Measures, resulting in eventual reduction of aggressive gesturing in the displays.
The British colonial period in the historical province of Bengal saw a growing division between the Anglo-influenced Hindu middle class and upper-class zaminders based in modern day Kolkata, and the Bengali Muslims. The communal discord reached its peak in the early half of the 20th century when the Muslims of Bengal became increasingly vocal through the Muslim League with their dissent on the disproportionately high development of Kolkata compared to the historical capitals from the Sultanate and Mughal eras leading to an economic and social decline of Muslims. The Hindus, on the other hand, put their support in the Congress Party. A notable instance of bipartisanship and non-communal politics was seen when in April 1947, Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardi of Muslim League and Sarat Chandra Bose of Congress Party presented their plan of an “United Bengal”, which gained insignificant popular support and was dismissed by most of the Congress elites. After the Partition of India, Indophobic attitudes were encouraged by the East Pakistan administration. Often, racism and prejudice directed at non-Muslim Bengalis incorporated Indophobic attitudes. The term "Indophobia" is first applicable to denote these prejudices when they began to morph from traditional anti-Hinduism in the Muslim communities to Indophobia with a greater political fervour.
The identity of present-day Bangladesh was sought to be established way back in 1901 and 1947 during the partition of India, and although a sizeable Hindu minority remained in East Pakistan (which later became Bangladesh), growing anti-Hinduism caused steady migration into India. The phobia that had grown from anti-Hinduism into Indophobia is also a part of ethnic Bengali Nationalism in the country, which continues to mark an average Bangladeshi’s perception of Indians. The ruling Bangladeshi class had realized this soon after the formation of Bangladesh and consequently made successive attempts to project not only the anti-India stance of the country, but also Islamic extremism which came to be basis of anti-India propaganda. Anti-India sentiments were expressed during the secession of East Pakistan to Bangladesh pan-Islamist groups sympathetic to the Pakistani regime, such as the Razakars, Al-Shams and al-Badr Islamist militias, who were, in part, responsible for the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities.[not in citation given]
Political disputes like the Farakka Barrage, Indo-Bangladesh enclaves and Indo-Bangladeshi barrier have created rift between the two. Persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh by the rising tide of militant Islamists and cross-border infiltration into India by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants has created likewise anti-Bangladeshi sentiment in India. Indophobia in Bangladesh is coupled with anti-Hinduism in Bangladesh, whereby Bangladeshi Hindus are accused of dual loyalty with India by right-wing Bangladeshis who are often affiliated with BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.
In Sri Lanka, Indians are called by the derogatory term 'Kalla-Thonis', originally used to denote smugglers. It is suggested that anti-Indian prejudices in Sri Lanka may be caused by the island nation's historically antagonistic relationship towards larger and more powerful empires in India (such as the Chola Empire), as well as their ethnic tensions with Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, who are accused of dual loyalty to India.
Despite India's alliance with the Sri Lankan government during the Sri Lankan Civil War, anti-Indian hatreds and prejudices are fairly common among the ethnic Sinhalese, fuelled by Buddhist Nationalism and militancy. Attitudes among sections of Sri Lankan society towards the minority Tamils of the country is associated with Indophobia, and Tamil minorities are scapegoated as "Indian spies". Indian traders and businessmen, patronized by the Tamil minority, have been shunned and attacked by the Sinhalese.
During the 1950s, a series of discriminatory measures taken by the Sinhala regime targeted Indian traders (typically from the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala), resulting in the traders being forced out of Sri Lanka. Following this, trade with India was deliberately scuttled, as was the sale of Indian magazines.
The Indophobia of that era also resulted in the Sinhala government going after the so called Tamils of ‘recent’ Indian origin. These immigrant plantation workers imported by the British more than a hundred years earlier had already been stripped of their citizenship by a prior legislation – the first Legislative Act of the newly independent Sri Lanka in 1948. Since then, these Tamils had been living as ‘stateless’ persons, many have repatriated to India.
List of such events
Jaffna hospital massacre - massacre of approximately 70 Sri Lankan civilians by Indian government forces.
Former British colonies in Sub-Saharan Africa have many citizens of South Asian descent (see Asians in Africa). They were brought there by the British Empire from British India to do clerical work in Imperial service. In academic discourse, racial prejudices directed against these people from their host countries fall under the rubric of Indophobia. The most prominent case being the ethnic cleansing of Indians and other South Asians (sometimes simply called "Asian") in Uganda by Idi Amin. (See Expulsion of Asians from Uganda.)
According to H.H. Patel, many Indians in East Africa and Uganda were tailors and bankers. Since the representation of Indians in these professions was high, stereotyping of Indians in Uganda as tailors or bankers was common.
Also, some Indians perceived themselves as coming from a more advanced culture than Uganda. Indophobia in Uganda thus predated Amin, and also existed under Milton Obote. The 1968 Committee on "Africanisation in Commerce and Industry" in Uganda made far-reaching Indophobic proposals.[vague]
A system of work permits and trade licenses was introduced in 1969 in order to restrict the role of Indians in economic and professional activities. Indians were segregated and discriminated against in all walks of life. After Amin came to power, he exploited these divisions to spread propaganda against Indians involving stereotyping and scapegoating the Indian minority.
Indians were stereotyped as "only traders" and so "inbred" to their profession. Indians were attacked as "dukawallas" (an occupational term that degenerated into an anti-Indian slur during Amin's time). They were also stereotyped as "greedy, conniving," without any racial identity or loyalty but "always cheating, conspiring and plotting" to subvert Uganda.
Amin used this to justify a campaign of "de-Indianisation", eventually resulting in the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Uganda's Indian minority. About 25,000 British passport holding Asians out of an estimated 80,000 expelled Indian-origin Asians settled in Britain.
Hate crime statistics against Indians in North American countries are unavailable. Though not at all widespread, it is believed that sporadic bouts of communal and institutional hatred against Indians have occurred, though their frequency may have decreased in recent years. In the late 1980s a Jersey City, New Jersey street gang calling themselves the "Dotbusters" targeted, threatened and attacked South Asians, specifically Indians. Indophobia in the United States has risen in certain circles due to anti-immigrant sentiment against Indian Americans, attempts by extremists to undermine US-India cooperation, as well as myths and misconceptions about them propagated on the internet.
Vamsee Juluri, author and Professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco, identifies Indophobia in certain sections of the US media as part of a racist postcolonial/neocolonial discourse used to attack and defame India and encourage racial prejudice against Indian Americans, particularly in light of India's recent economic progress, which some "old-school" colonialists find to be incompatible with their Clash of Civilizations world view. Juluri identified numerous instances of bias and prejudice against Indians in some prominent sections of US media, such as the New York Times and Foreign Policy.
In countries such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as some Caribbean islands,[which?] racism against the Indian populations is sometimes even violent. In Trinidad and Tobago, the largely Afro-Caribbean People's National Movement and its founder, Dr. Eric Williams, were in some regards Indophobic. Williams once called the local Indian community 'a dangerous and recalcitrant minority'. During the tenure of PNM Prime Minister Patrick Manning Indophobia became apparent as he refused to attend Indo-centric festival observances and sought to implement state programmes subtly aimed at marginalisation of the Indo-Trinidadians.[original research?]
Indo-Fijians account for about 37% of the total population. There was a period worked as indentured laborers and a period of religious and social divisions. The Fiji coup of 2000 also provoked a violent backlash against the Indo-Fijians for a time as the ethnic Indian Prime Minister,Mahendra Chaudhry who was deposed by the army.
In May and June 2009, allegedly racially motivated attacks against Indian international students and a perceived poor response by the police sparked protests in Australia. Rallies were held in both Melbourne and Sydney. Impromptu street protests were also held in Harris Park, a suburb of western Sydney with a large Indian population. Representatives of the Indian government met the Australian government to express concern and request that Indians be protected. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd expressed regret and called for the attackers to be brought to justice. The United Nations termed these attacks "disturbing" and the human rights commissioner Navi Pillay, herself a member of the Indian diaspora, asked Australia to investigate the matters further.
There were Facebook groups set up with Indiophobic leanings. The Rudd Government has set up a special taskforce, headed by the Prime Minister's national security adviser, Duncan Lewis, to deal with the proposal to make sending of a text message encouraging someone to commit a racial attack to become a federal offence. The proposed amendment to the existing legislation would strengthen the powers of the police to respond to attacks against Indian students. Internet based racism has been a problem due to lack of legislative powers to effectively lay charges on the perpetrator due to privacy laws. The current system allows the commission to investigate complaints of racial vilification and then attempts to resolve complaints through conciliation with ISPs and social-networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.
In 2008, the BBC was criticised by some for referring to the perpetrators who carried out the November 2008 Mumbai attacks as mere "gunmen." This follows a stream of complaints from India that the BBC has an Indophobic bias that stems from its alleged culturally ingrained racism against Indians stemming from the British Raj. Rediff reporter Arindam Banerji has chronicled cases of alleged Indophobic bias from the BBC regarding reportage, selection bias, misrepresentation and fabrications.Hindu groups[which?] in the United Kingdom have accused the BBC of anti-Hindu bigotry and whitewashing Islamist hate groups that demonise the British Indian Hindu minority
In protest of the biased coverage of the BBC, journalist Mobashar Jawed "M.J." Akbar chose to boycott the BBC when he spoke of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. British parliamentarian Stephen Pound has supported these claims, referring to the BBC's alleged whitewashing of the attacks as "the worst sort of mealy mouthed posturing. It is desperation to avoid causing offence which ultimately causes more offence to everyone."
Writing for The Hindu Business Line, reporter Premen Addy criticised the BBC's reporting on South Asia as consistently Indophobic and pro-Islamist, and that they under-report India's economic and social achievements, as well as political and diplomatic efforts, while allegedly disproportionately highlighting and exaggerating problems in the country. In addition, Addy alludes to discrimination against Indian anchors and reporters in favour of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ones who are hostile to India.[original research?]
Writing for the 2008 edition of the peer-reviewed Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Alasdair Pinkerton analyses the coverage of India by the BBC since India's independence from British rule in 1947 until 2008. Pinkerton suggests a tumultuous history involving allegations of Indophobic bias in the BBC's reporting, particularly during the cold war, and concludes that the BBC's coverage of South Asian geopolitics and economics shows an perceived pervasive and hostile Indophobic bias due to the BBC's alleged imperialist and neo-colonialist stance.
Writing on western media bias regarding South Asia in the journal of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, media analyst Ajai K. Rai strongly criticises the BBC for an alleged Indophobic bias. He writes that there is a total lack of depth or fairness in the BBC's reporting on conflict zones in South Asia and that the BBC has, on at least one occasion, fabricated photographs while reporting on the Kashmir conflict in order to make India look bad. He also writes that the BBC made false allegations that the Indian Army stormed a sacred Muslim shrine, the tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Noor-u-din Noorani in Charari Sharief, and only retracted the claim after strong criticism from the media in India for several weeks.
The Huffington Post has also charged that the New York Times as Indophobic, and promotes neocolonialism with its slanted and negative coverage of India. United States lawmaker Kumar P. Barve has called a recent editorial on India as full of "blatant and unprofessional factual errors or omissions", and having a "haughty, condescending, arrogant and patronising" tone that reminded him of the British Raj. Sumit Ganguly, a visiting scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, has similarly criticised the newspaper in a Forbes article, finding anti-India bias in coverage of the Kashmir Conflict, the Hyde Act and other India-related matters.
Prominent Pakistani media commentators like Zaid Hamid have specifically been accused by other Pakistanis of promoting Indophobia in Pakistan. In an editorial published in Daily Times Tayyab Shah accused him of doing so at the behest of Pakistani security establishment and condemned his views. Along with Lashkar-e-Taiba he is one of the main proponents in present day Pakistan of Ghazwatul Hind a future battle where Muslims will conquer India and establish Sharia rule according to a controversial Hadith. 
Talking to reporters after inaugurating an exhibition in Lahore, Majid Nizami who is the chief editor of Nawa-i-Waqt newspaper stated "freedom is the greatest blessing of the Almighty, Who may save us from dominance of Hindus, as our sworn enemy India is bent upon destroying Pakistan. However, if it did not refrain from committing aggression against us, then Pakistan is destined to defeat India because our horses in the form of atomic bombs and missiles are far better than Indian ‘donkeys’."
Allegedly Pakistani media indulges in anti India propaganda at the behest of the Pakistani military. In December 2010 many leading Pakistani newspapers published reports based on United States diplomatic cables leaks which portrayed India in a negative light. After The Guardian reported that none of the information reported by Pakistani media could be verified in its database of leaked cables. Thereafter several newspapers apologized. The fake cables were believed to have been planted by Inter-Services Intelligence.
Due to the large size and diversity of India, there are various forms of anti-Indian activities within and without the country. Racism, regionalism and militancy are prominent forms of anti-state activities. Anti-state violence in India is attributable to Islamic, Hindu, Naxalite and ethnic nationalist radical movements. The provinces with long term activities against the Indian state today are Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and five of the Seven Sister States. In the past, the Punjab insurgency led to militant activities in Punjab as well as the national capital of New Delhi (largely due the Indian government invasion of the Sikh holy place in Operation Bluestar). As of 2006, at least 232 of the country’s 608 districts were afflicted, at differing intensities, by various insurgencies. In August 2008, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has said that there are as many as 800 terrorist cells operating in the country.
In the aftermath of the 1919 Amritsar Massacre, the long-held stereotype of Indian males as dark-skinned rapists lusting after white British females was challenged by several novels such as E. M. Forster's A Passage to India (1924) and Paul Scott's The Jewel in the Crown (1966), both of which involve an Indian male being wrongly accused of raping a British female.
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