"I sent him to your country to study. He was harmless, a great child and outstanding student who was constantly busy learning the skills needed for his future and betterment of the world. He was not out on the street to learn how to kill, steal or do other kind of evil..."
Yet, Yannick Nihangaza who turns 24 on the eve of India's 66th anniversary of independence was beaten up, so savagely as to suffer irreversible brain damage. Since 21 April night, he is in coma.
Yannick came from Burundi, a land of dancers and drummers in Africa. Like any young man, he too had dreams and desires. To fulfil them, it was India that Yannick chose, not Europe, America or Australia. The reasons might have been several, but among them was undoubtedly his admiration for this country and its people.
A 5000 year old legacy of rich heritage and culture! It teaches us to be kind, compassionate, generous, humane, tolerant... But to most of us these are merely ornamental! Even ITDC (Indian Tourism Development Corpn.) has as its tag line, an adage from one of the Upanishads which says: 'Atithi devo bhavaḥa' (A guest is god to us)!
Look what we have done to that god! Beat him up mercilessly and left him bleeding by the roadside. It took two letters from the victim's father, diplomatic intervention and media outcry to wake up the administration. By then, one of the accused had conveniently fled the country!
Why is this happening... senselessly, shamelessly, and repeatedly?
"If you want a picture of the future,
imagine a boot stamping on a human face..."