As an Indian I have never had to face racism. I have lived and worked in a few countries in Europe and the Middle East. In Europe and North America (pertcularly after 9/11 and 7/7) people do take a second look at you.

Usually that’s in public places but in places where ‘conversation’ is involved, as soon as they realise you are from India, there are no doubts. What’s the worse thing an Indian can do in their country, start a corner shop? IT company? resturant? buy steel companies?

I have noticed this while applying for visas, I get mine within 24 hours, hardly any questions during the interview (and this is not because I am a journalist, most of my friends with real jobs find it easier now too). We must be doing something right.

Members of the touring Indian under 19 cricket team who suffered a racist attack are terrified after their ordeal, the man who brought them to Belfast has said. The Indian teenagers, who are in Northern Ireland as part of a cricket tour, were left badly shaken.


Five of them were chased from the city centre towards the Albertbridge Road by up to 15 youths on Sunday. Their accommodation has also been stoned. The Lord Mayor of Belfast welcomed them on Tuesday with a special reception. Councillor Pat McCarthy hosted the event for the team at the city hall. “What happened to the Indian cricket club does not reflect the feelings of the people of this city,” he said.

“I think it was important that we got them into city hall and conveyed that to them.” Bhasker Sharma of Desertyouth cricket team said they had just been enjoying the city when the incident happened. “Around 15 or 16 boys came and I don’t know what happened. They just started chasing us.” Rajeev Khanna, also of Desertyouth cricket team, said: “It is not the first time we have come to the UK, it’s been our eighth or ninth time to the UK and we have never faced this situation anywhere in the UK.”

Tour organiser Ashok Sharma from Belfast said there had been many generous offers of hospitality since the attack.He said the teenagers had been very scared. Bhasker Sharma was one of those chased Mr Sharma said he had “tried to pacify them” but they remained very confused by the attack.

“They say if they had known this was going to happen to them, they would never ever have come in the first place,” he said.
East Belfast DUP councillor Robin Newton called the attack disgraceful.”It is disgraceful that gifted young sportsmen cannot wander around admiring the capital without local thugs attempting to do them harm,” he said.

“Those who carry out such hate fuelled attacks have nothing to offer except continual intolerance and hostility.” Police have also condemned the incident, and said a racist motive was being investigated.They called on the local community to show their support for the young cricketers.