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Anti-Indian sentiment or Indophobia refers to hostility towards India, Indians and Indian culture. Indophobia is formally defined in the context of anti-Indian prejudice in East Africa as "a tendency to react negatively towards people of Indian extraction against aspects of Indian culture and normative habits." Its opposite is Pro-India sentiment.
- 1 Historical anti-India sentiment
- 2 Colonial period
- 3 Post-independence
- 4 Controversial Portrayal of Indians in American Media
- 5 Region-based Indophobia
- 6 Media
- 7 Terrorism
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Historical anti-India sentiment
By the late 19th century, sinophobia had already emerged in North America over Chinese immigration and the cheap labour it supplied, mostly for railroad construction in California and elsewhere on the West Coast. In xenophobic jargon common in the day, ordinary workers, newspapers and politicians opposed this "Yellow Peril". The common cause of eradicating Asians from the workforce gave rise to the Asiatic Exclusion League. As the fledgling Indian community of mostly Punjabi Sikhs settled in California, the xenophobia expanded to encompass immigrants from British India.
The relation of "Indomania" and "Indophobia" in colonial era British Indology was discussed by American Indologist Thomas Trautmann (1997) who found 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 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 Grant's highly influential "Observations on the ...Asiatic subjects of Great Britain" (1796), he 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 believed that Great Britain's duty was 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. 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 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 prejudice against Hindus. Horace Hayman Wilson wrote that the tendency of Mill's work was "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 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."
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, this was exaggerated by the British media to justify continued British intervention 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 cited little physical evidence. It was later found that some were fictions created to paint the native people as savages who needed to be civilized, 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 propaganda by Karl Marx, who pointed out that the story was written by a clergyman in Bangalore, far from the events. 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 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 British Raj's policies outlawing miscegenation between the British and the Indians. While some restrictive policies were imposed on British females to "protect" them from miscegenation, most were directed against 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 could not be trusted in cases alleging 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. Indophobia in the west manifests itself through intimidation and harassment, such as the case of the anti-Hindu Dotbusters street gang. Cultural theorists have shown that more genteel forms of Indophobia thrive in forums like the editorial pages of the New York Times, and especially in the cliche-ridden and often factually dubious writings of its long-time South Asia reporter, Barbara Crossette.
Controversial Portrayal of Indians in American Media
There has been much academic protest against the often negative portrayal of Indians in the US media, popular television shows, and major motion pictures, portraying Indians as weak, effeminate, or dishonest. This steady dehumanization and emasculation stems from Colonial views towards people originating from India and has been seen in negative stereotypes in "This is 40,"Harold and Kumar" movie series, "Octopussy," "American Reunion," "The Big Bang Theory," "Outsourced," "The Simpsons," "Rules of Engagement," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Jessie," "Slumdog Millionaire, "The Love Guru" and countless other major motion pictures and television shows.
Anti-Indian and anti-Hindu sentiments have waxed and waned in Pakistan since its independence. According to Tufts University professor Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, anti-India sentiment in Pakistan increased with the ascendancy of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami under Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.
|This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (July 2014)|
British diplomacy and supremacy in arms displaced Muslim power which religious and cultural responses from the Muslim populace were unable to stop. Some Indian Muslims feared the Hindu majority that would gain political ascendance after independence. This view was bolstered by religious riots in British India such as the 1927 Nagpur riots. The Two-Nation Theory was enunciated by Allama Iqbal, which was supported by the All India Muslim League and eventually culminated in the Independence of India and of Pakistan in 1947.
Independence was accompanied by acts of genocide and hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides of the border leading to lasting memories among the surviving refugee populations. 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 the Indian Subcontinent 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 predominantly Hindu India. Unsure of Pakistan's future they deliberately promoted anti-India sentiment with "Islamic Pakistan" resisting a "Hindu India".
According to Nasr, Anti-Indian sentiments, coupled with anti-Hindu prejudices have existed in Pakistan since its formation. Indophobia in Pakistan increased with the ascendancy of the Jamaat-e-Islami under Maududi.
In his article "The future of Pakistan" published by Brookings Institution American South Asia expert Stephen P. Cohen describes the Pakistan-India relationship as a neverending spiral of sentiments against each other.
In Pakistani textbooks
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 hence the Hindus have to be painted as negatively as possible". A 2005 report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace, a nonprofit 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 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."
Indo-Pakistani military conflicts
In 1971 rising political discontent in East Pakistan, on the other side of India from West Pakistan, led to calls to secede from Pakistan, which were brutally suppressed by Pakistan Army leading to the Bangladesh Liberation War. India intervened, triggering the brief Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 that culminated with the 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 stated that anti-Indian sentiment is instilled in Pakistani soldiers early in their training at Cadet College Hasan Abdal and Cadet College Petaro. He also claimed that to prosper, Pakistan needed to overcome its hatred for India.
On November 21, 2012, Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani gunman involved in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed 156 Indians, was hanged by the Indian government after a four-year trial. Following this incident a member of Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded the hanging of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in retaliation. Sarabjit Singh later died in the Lahore hospital on May 1, 2013 after being in coma for nearly a week following a brutal assault by fellow inmates in a high-security Pakistani jail.
The symbols of the troubled relationship between the two nations are the "Beating the Retreat" spectacles at sundown at the Wagah and Fazilka borders. In 2010 both governments agreed to tone down the rituals as part of "Confidence Building Measures".
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (September 2013)|
A notable instance of non-communal politics occurred in April 1947, when Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardi of the Muslim League and Sarat Chandra Bose of the Congress Party presented their "United Bengal" plan. This failed to gain popular support and was dismissed by Congress elites. After Partition, Indophobic attitudes were encouraged by East Pakistan. Often, racism and prejudice directed at non-Muslim Bengalis incorporated Indophobic attitudes.[clarification needed] The term "Indophobia" was first applied to these prejudices as they began to morph from traditional anti-Hinduism in Muslim communities to Indophobia with greater political content.
Independence for Bangladesh was considered in 1901 and 1947 and although a sizeable Hindu minority remained, growing anti-Hinduism caused steady migration into India. The phobia that had grown from anti-Hinduism into Indophobia forms part of ethnic Bengali Nationalism, which continues to mark Bangladeshi perceptions of Indians. Ruling Bangladeshis had realized this soon after the formation of Bangladesh and consequently made successive attempts to project both an anti-Indian stance and Islamic extremism, which became the basis of anti-India propaganda. Anti-India sentiments were expressed during secession. Pan-Islamist groups sympathetic to the Pakistani regime, such as the Razakars, Al-Shams and al-Badr Islamist militias, were partly responsible for the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities.[not in citation given]
Political disputes such as the Farakka Barrage, Indo-Bangladesh enclaves and Indo-Bangladeshi barrier created rifts between the two countries. Persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh by the rising tide of militant Islamists and cross-border infiltration into India by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants created anti-Bangladeshi sentiment in India. Indophobia coupled with anti-Hinduism, led to accusations of dual loyalty among Bangladeshi Hindus by right-wing Bangladeshis often affiliated with the Al-Badr-esque Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and the BNP.
Anti-India sentiments in Bangladesh rose after controversial decision given by cricket field umpire Aleem Dar against Bangladesh in Cricket World Cup 2015 in India vs Bangladesh quarter final match on 19 March 2015. There were numerous protests and outrage over street and social media by Bangladeshis against ICC and India. Prime Minster of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said, "We would have won if the umpires did not give wrong decisions. Inshaallah, Bangladesh will win in the future. Bangladesh will become world champions someday."
Anti-Indian prejudice may be caused by the island nation's bad experience with Indian empires (such as the Chola Empire), their ethnic tensions with Sri Lanka's Tamil minority, who are accused of loyalty to India, as well as past attacks against Sri Lankan civilians allegedly committed by Indian forces, such as the Jaffna Hospital incident.
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, escalated by Buddhist Nationalism and militancy. Attitudes towards Tamils are associated with Indophobia and Tamils are labeled "Indian spies". Indian traders and businessmen, patronized by the Tamil minority, have been shunned and attacked by the Sinhalese.
During the 1950s, discriminatory measures taken by the Sinhala regime targeted Indian traders (typically from the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala), forcing the traders out of Sri Lanka. Following this, trade with India was deliberately scuttled, as was the sale of Indian magazines.
The Indophobia of that era led the Sinhala government to go after the so-called Tamils of ‘recent’ Indian origin. These immigrant plantation workers were imported by the British more than a hundred years earlier and had already been stripped of citizenship by earlier legislation—the first Legislative Act of the newly independent country in 1948. Since then, these Tamils lived as ‘stateless’ persons and many returned to India.
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 for the Empire. In academic discourse, racial prejudices directed against these people from their host countries fall also constitute Indophobia. The most prominent case is the ethnic cleansing of Indians and other South Asians (sometimes simply called "Asian") in Uganda by Idi Amin. (See Expulsion of Asians from Uganda.)
Some Indians considered Indian culture to be more advanced than Uganda's. Indophobia in Uganda existed under Milton Obote, before Amin's rise. 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 to Indians' 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.
Indians were stereotyped as "only traders" and thereby "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 stereotyped as "greedy, conniving", without 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. Some 80,000 were expelled, leading about 25,000 to settle in the United Kingdom.
Hate crime statistics against Indians in North American countries are unavailable. Though rare, sporadic bouts of animosity towards Indians have occurred, albeit at a decreasing frequency. In the late 1980s a Jersey City, New Jersey street gang calling themselves the "Dotbusters" targeted, threatened and attacked Indians. Indophobia in the United States is due attempts by extremists to undermine US-India cooperation, as well as myths and misconceptions 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 US media, such as the New York Times and Foreign Policy.
In Mexico City due to the arrival of new Indostani newcomers that fall apart from the restauranter-leading stereotype, and mostly advocating to fabric selling in the streets, there has been an increasing opinion of middle classes linked with to Malthusian influenced debates, towards a future migratory danger. Most indostanis previously seen with migratory respect, are seen as a future menace.
In May and June 2009, racially motivated attacks against Indian international students and a perceived poor police response sparked protests. Rallies were held in both Melbourne and Sydney. Impromptu street protests were held in Harris Park, a suburb of western Sydney with a large Indian population. Representatives of the Indian government met with 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.
Some Facebook groups were set up with Indophobic leanings. The Rudd Government set up a task force to address a proposal to make sending a text message encouraging commission of a racial attack a federal offence. The group was headed by national security adviser Duncan Lewis. The proposed amendment would strengthen police powers to respond to attacks against Indian students. Internet-based racist commentary was able to continue because of protection afforded by privacy laws. The current system allows the commission to investigate complaints of racial vilification and then attempt to resolve complaints through conciliation with ISPs and site operators.
In 2008, the BBC was criticised for referring to those who carried out the November 2008 Mumbai attacks as "gunmen." This followed complaints that the BBC expresses racism against Indians stemming from the British Raj. Rediff reporter Arindam Banerji chronicled cases of alleged Indophobic bias from the BBC regarding reportage, selection bias, misrepresentation and fabrications.Hindu groups[which?] in the United Kingdom accused the BBC of anti-Hindu bigotry and whitewashing Islamist hate groups that demonise the British Indian Hindu minority.
Journalist M. J. Akbar chose to boycott the BBC when he spoke of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. British parliamentarian Stephen Pound referred to the BBCs 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 BBC reporting on South Asia as consistently Indophobic and pro-Islamist and that they under-report India's economic and social achievements, while exaggerating its problems. In addition, Addy alludes to discrimination against Indian anchors and reporters in favour of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis 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 analysed BBC Indian coverage from independence through 2008. Pinkerton suggested a tumultuous history involving allegations of Indophobic bias, particularly during the cold war and concludes that BBC coverage of South Asian geopolitics and economics shows pervasive Indophobic bias.
In the journal of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, media analyst Ajai K. Rai strongly criticised the BBC for Indophobic bias. He found a lack of depth and fairness in BBC reporting on conflict zones in South Asia and that the BBC had, on at least one occasion, fabricated photographs while reporting on the Kashmir conflict to make India look bad. He claimed that the network made false allegations that the Indian Army stormed a sacred Muslim shrine, the tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Noor-u-din Noorani in Charari Sharief only retracted the claim after strong criticism.
New York Times
The Huffington Post charged that the New York Times is Indophobic and promotes neocolonialism with its slanted and negative coverage. United States lawmaker Kumar P. Barve described a recent editorial on India as full of "blatant and unprofessional factual errors or omissions" having a "haughty, condescending, arrogant and patronising" tone. Sumit Ganguly, a visiting scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, 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.
Pakistani media commentators such as Zaid Hamid were accused by other Pakistanis of promoting Indophobia, particularly Hinduphobia. In an editorial published in Daily Times Tayyab Shah accused him of acting at the behest of the 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 battle where Muslims will conquer India and establish Sharia rule according to a Hadith. 
Talking to reporters after inaugurating an exhibition in Lahore, Majid Nizami, the chief editor of Nawa-i-Waqt, 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’."
Some of the anti-India propaganda is claimed to be driven the Pakistani military. In December 2010 many Pakistani newspapers published reports based on United States diplomatic cables leaks which portrayed India in a negative light. 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.
The British Indian film Slumdog Millionaire was the subject of many controversies  in terms of its title, its depiction of Indian slums and its language use. The film's title was consistently challenged for having the word "dog" in it. The protest took place in Patna where they written on a signboard "I Am Not a Dog". Activists stated that slum dwellers would continue to protest until the film's director deleted the word "dog" from the title. The Hindu organisations Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) and Shiv Sena protested against the film for its portrayal of the Hindu God Rama. The film depicted Hindu society as rapacious monsters  Co-director Loveleen Tandan was too criticized by producer Christian Colson. Colson defined her partnership with Boyle a mismatch. Colson noted that the title of "co-director (India)" given to Tandan was "strange but deserved" and was developed over "a Coca Cola and a cup of tea" in order to identify her as "one of our key cultural bridges."  During 2009 Oscar awards ceremony, Tandon was ignored and whole credit for film was taken by Boyle. Some filmmakers and actors from Bollywood also trashed Slumdog Millionaire including Aamir Khan, Priyadarshan and Music Director Aadesh Shrivastava.
Due to India's size and diversity, anti-Indian activities occur within and outside the country. Anti-state violence is attributable to Islamic, Naxalite and ethnic nationalist radical movements. The provinces with ongoing activities against the state include Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and five of the Seven Sister States. In the past, the Punjab insurgency led to militant activities in the state and New Delhi (largely due the government's invasion of the Sikh holy place in Operation Blue Star). As of 2006, at least 232 of the country’s 608 districts were afflicted by various insurgencies. In August 2008, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan claimed that as many as 800 terrorist cells operated in India.
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... There is much in the Musalmans which, if they wish, can roll them into a nation. But isn't there enough that is common to both Hindus and Muslims, which if developed, is capable of moulding them into one people? Nobody can deny that there are many modes, manners, rites and customs which are common to both. Nobody can deny that there are rites, customs and usages based on religion which do divide Hindus and Muslmans. The question is, which of these should be emphasized ...
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When it comes to its relations with its most important neighbor, India its most important international ally, the United States, its overarching narrative is that of victimhood. Pakistan’s perception of itself as the victim of Hindu domination has led to the mother of all "trust deficits," a deficit that can never be eliminated because it stems from the deeply held belief that Indians are dominating, insincere, and untrustworthy. In this view, there is nothing that Pakistan can do to normalize the relationship because Indians/Hindus are essentially untrustworthy and have proven that to be true time and time again. My view is that if trust is a component of the problem, it is an eternal one.
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|Look up Indophobia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Islamic Resurgence in Bangladesh: Genesis, Dynamics and Implications by Taj I. Hashmi, apcss.org.
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