Expressing concern over a series of alleged attacks on Africans in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee Monday said it would be unfortunate if “our long tradition of friendship with the people of Africa” is diluted. Addressing delegates of the seventh annual Heads of Mission Conference who called on him, Mukherjee said,”It would be most unfortunate if the people of India were to dilute our long tradition of friendship with the people of Africa and the welcome we have always extended to them in our country.
African students in India should have no reason to fear for their safety and security.” Mukherjee said Indians must not create any impression that violates the country’s core values. “We have to create appropriate awareness in the minds of our youngsters who may not know the history (and) age-old relations (between India and Africa)…. India has had trading relations with African countries for centuries, and every one of the 54 countries of Africa has a thriving Indian community doing business, (running) industry etc,” he said.
“We cannot allow these to be jeopardised in any way and create a bad precedent which is not the ethos, which is not part of the core values of our civilisation,” a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement quoted Mukherjee. “As a political activist, as an MP, I have noticed how close we (India and Africa) are with each other,” Mukherjee said. He told the delegates that leaders such as Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana stood with Jawaharlal Nehru at the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung in 1955 when the Non-Aligned Movement was founded in 1961. “Nelson Mandela was an embodiment of Gandhian principles,” he said. “India led the long international struggle for the end of colonialism and apartheid in Africa(INDIAN EXPRESS,2016).