Exploring The Experience Of Indians Facing Racism In France

Exploring The Experience Of Indians Facing Racism In France

When there was a 26-hour delay because of the weather in Chennai, Air France discriminated against customers based on their passport or visa, took advantage of the fact that the majority of the stranded passengers had no way to leave the airport, and did little to offer basic requirements. They might not be able to control things like a temporary visa, but they did nothing to offer necessities like a bed or blanket that were within their power. They were blatantly discriminatory and used insults like “since this is due to weather, we are not obliged to do anything more, if you are not happy, go complain” to make us aware that they are doing it on purpose. A passenger of Indian descent who could converse in French overheard the crew referring to the group of Indians as a “pile of Indians” in their conversation.

Instances of Racism

When an Air France plane experienced a mechanical issue, more than fifty Indian passengers claimed they were the targets of “racial” profiling and described their ordeal as “harrowing” with hardly any water and food at the Paris airport. The weary travelers said they were restricted to a “small” lounge at the airport from 10 pm on Sunday until 7 am the following morning. They arrived here late at night after becoming detained in Paris for 28 hours. 

“We were informed that we could not leave the airport and were held in a tiny space (the lounge) with very little food or drink. One passenger on aircraft AF 218 remarked, “We spent the entire night over there in that situation. The passengers, who were traveling from the US to Mumbai via Paris, claimed that after their plane returned to the airport after a four-hour flight due to a technical issue, other foreigners were taken to hotels, but the Indians were only given a sandwich and a bottle of water in the lounge. One of the travelers, Vineeta Sengupta, described their “harrowing” experience, saying, “No foreigner would have been treated like the way we were treated.” People were sprawled out on the ground over there (in the airport’s immigration area).

Cultural Stereotypes

A teenage traveler accused Air France of “racial” stereotyping and said that staff members had even threatened to turn them over to the police if they continued to demonstrate. The official explanation for the delay is yet unknown. “This nation is not into protest; it’s crazy about rebel heroes.” When one watched how many Indians responded to the recent fury and violence that erupted in France following the Nahel M. police homicide, poet and writer Raghuvir Sahay’s words sprang to mind. 

With the exception of a few English-language outlets, India’s major media outlets either downplayed or horrified the violence they saw. There was an outpouring of criticism on social media over the protests. Many expressed their sadness on social media, saying that France lacked a leader of the caliber of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, who might have intimidated the demonstrators with bulldozing or shooting them to death. These remarks shed light on the type of social consciousness that prevails among several Indian communities. Although it is not a recent occurrence, social media gives us daily access to ongoing evidence of it.

Social Exclusion

Indians who took to social media to express their concern over the violence in France would have preferred it if the French government had declared that these kind of protests are anti-national or anti-France. Government hasn’t taken this action. Yes, far-right groups have claimed that France’s welcoming immigration laws are to blame for the violence. However, a number of pundits and political parties have also made an effort to comprehend the causes of the violence. While they reject the violence and arson, they argue that the deep-seated prejudice and lack of sympathy for non-“native” French people in the French political system is the real cause of the rage.

Air France Discrimination Sparks Calls To Boycott Paris Olympics 2024

The recent discriminatory treatment of Indian passengers by Air France has sparked outrage, highlighting instances of racism and cultural stereotypes. Stranded for 26 hours due to a weather delay in Chennai, passengers were subjected to appalling conditions at the Paris airport, receiving minimal provisions while witnessing discriminatory remarks from airline staff. Such incidents underscore the need for accountability and raise concerns about safety for tourists, prompting calls for boycotting the Paris Olympics 2024. This unfortunate episode emphasizes the importance of addressing systemic issues of discrimination and promoting inclusivity in all spheres of society.


In conclusion, Depending on personal experiences and viewpoints, French people’s impressions toward India and its people might differ greatly. In general, France and India have historical and cultural links as well as interests in trade, culture, and education. It’s possible that different French individuals have different opinions of India depending on things like interactions with others, media portrayals, and geopolitical concerns. Individual ideas might differ, so it’s crucial to acknowledge this and approach any conversation regarding perceptions with an open mind and a willingness to learn about other points of view.



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