New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its interventions with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Broadcast Content Complaints Council, International Cricket Council and Board of Control for Cricket in India to immediately stop broadcast of one of the “Champions League T20 - #T20Nights Are Back!” advertisements for promoting stereotyping and racial prejudices against the Nepalese who are rightly considered as the same people as of the North Easterners because of Tibeto-Mongolid physical features.
In one of the advertisements, “Champions League T20 - #T20Nights Are Back!”, one of the Nepalese youth states, "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 locality. The same is repeatedly broadcast with distinguishable heavy Nepalese accent in FM radios including FM.92.7.
“In North India where Nepalese and North Easterners are considered being the same people because of their physical features, such stereotyping only promotes racism and acts of racial violence. Though unconnected to the advertisement, yesterday i.e. on 14 September 2014, two Manipuri boys Mr Lulminlal Haokip and Mr Lepmin Len were attacked at Munikra village after they protested when some youths were laughing at them. In fact, the North Easterner being called Nepalese often leads to such problems. The Bezbaruah Committee set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India in its recent report that 86% of northeasterners living in Delhi had faced some sort of racial discrimination while crimes against northeasterners have gone up by 270% in the last three years.” –stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
“Though ethnic Nepalese serve in various sectors including in film industry, the Nepalese are often stereotyped as night watchmen/guards which creates inferior impression about the Nepalese and by implications the North Easterners among the viewers. These acts of stereotyping are reprehensible and calls for law against racism in India.”- further stated Mr 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 advertisment reflects extreme lack of sensitivity which is one of the root causes of racism in India. [Ends]