Rights group alleges racism in Champions League ad|
NEW DELHI, Sept 21 – The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has called for immediate stopping of the broadcast of one of the ‘Champions League T20-T20 Nights Are Back’ advertisements for promoting stereotypes and racial prejudices against the Nepalese who are considered as the same people as of the Northeastern States because of Tibeto-Mongoloid features. In its interventions with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Broadcast Content Complaints Council, International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India, ACHR alleged that it in one of the advertisements, “Champions League T20-T20 Nights Are Back!”, one of the Nepali looking youth says, “Wo Raatein Bhi Kya Raatein Thi, Nach te teh, gaate teh, chilla te teh, purra mohalla ko, haami toh jagate teh” (what nights were those nights, used to dance, used to sing, used to shout, we are the ones who used to wake up the entire locality)”– implying that Nepalese work as night guards and wake up the residents of the locality. The same is being repeatedly broadcast with distinguishable heavy, Nepalese accent in various TV channels and FM radios, the ACHR stated.
“In North India where Nepalese and Northeasterners are considered being the same people because of their same physical features, such stereotyping only promotes racism and acts of racial violence. Though unconnected to the advertisement, on September 14, two Manipuri boys were attacked at Munirka village, New Delhi after they protested when some local youths made fun of them. In fact, the Northeasterners being called Nepali or “Bahadur” derogatively often leads to such incidents.
The Bezbaruah Committee set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs in its recent report stated that 86 per cent of the Northeasterners living in Delhi had faced some sort of racial discrimination while crimes against Northeasterners have gone up by 270 per cent in the last three years,” stated Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
“Though Nepalese serve in various sectors including in the film industry, they are often stereotyped as night watchmen/guards in mass media and this creates inferior impression about the Nepalese and by implications the North- easterners among the viewers. These acts of stereotyping are reprehensible and justify the need for a law against racism in India,”further stated Chakma.
Sports has consistently been used to combat racism across the world but cricket, which is the most popular sport in South Asia, is being used to promote stereotyping and racism. The advertisement reflects extreme lack of sensitivity which is one of the root causes of racism in India, the ACHR added.