Like the year last year and before that too, Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, was turned sour by a racist man in Pretoria, South Africa who barged into private property and hurled racial slurs not only on the Hindu family but the Indian diplomats who were also there.
The incident was caught on camera where the rowdy man can be seen telling the Hindus that “this is not India” and he used several swear words including the ‘Ka&fir’.
This racial hatred was unexpected as this property is very close to the south African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s official residence.
A South African named Pradeep Ramlall, his family, and Indian diplomats were at a Falcon’s Nest Clubhouse, near Arcadia, where a man named Chris Venter came and hurled abuses and threatened to get violent.
On October 27, Aryesh Ramlall noted her anguish and said that ‘so today on what was meant to be a Happy Occasion for me as an Indian South African, we had a white man from our complex come and swear at us (both Indian and non Indian/white residents) and all the Indian Diplomats who we were celebrating with. He told us to “all go back to India “, and called me a “ka$fir” when I argued back with him. He threatened to punch us all, including the women and then proceeded to take our box of fireworks and throw them everywhere and then he tore up most of our fireworks. We as a complex had got permission to light fireworks between 7:30 to 8:30 and all residents in the area had been informed by both email and letter. Our party was not that of only Indian but rather a variety of both non-Indian and Indian peoples who came to celebrate together- as South Africa should be. To this racist bigot, I as a child post 1994 will not keep quiet to the likes of you and your hateful ways. To the children of both Black, White and Indian descent I am sorry that when you all walked up to me after this had happen I had to tell you that “No, we would not be able to light fireworks any more”, due to the hateful actions of this man. May you all never grow up to be like him.”
Interestingly, all the hate comments against Hindus in the garb of ‘defending animals’ come from the White people. We have documented at least two such cases in the past that can be checked by clicking here and here.
Earlier, the president of the South Africa Hindu Maha Sabha’s leader Ashwin Trikamjee had requested the countrymen to also respect Hindus and let them to celebrate Diwali in peace.
He was speaking at the CRL Rights Commission where he reminded the audience that loud bangs were common during Guy Fawkes and New Year celebrations too. he described the fireworks during these days as ‘ war zones’ but he wondered why there were complaints of loud crackers during those days?
The reason why there is so much brouhaha over Diwali crackers is due to the fact that now the Hindus have moved up and several have brought houses and properties in erstwhile White-only places. During the apartheid, the Group Areas Act kept the White community separate from the other cultures. The SA Mahasabha president also pointed out that since the Guy Fawkes is historically a White man’s practice, hence so complaints arose.
South African Human Rights Commission gets involved
In a statement accessed by CurrenTriggers.com, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said that it has received complaints related to alleged hate speech directed via social media, at persons of the Hindu faith, who celebrated Diwali on Sunday evening, the 27th October 2019.
It also stated that the Commission is sensitive to the tensions caused by the use of fireworks in urban and suburban areas. However, the Commission cannot condone abuse directed at a group of people on the basis of their religion and/or race. It also said:
The SAHRC is particularly concerned by these incidents as the use of fireworks accompanies Diwali, New Year’s Eve and other holiday celebrations amongst South Africa’s diverse people.
It also stated that the Commission will be investigating the allegations of hate speech it has been made aware of and will take appropriate steps through its Complaints Handling Procedures.