In most nations of the world, anger toward migrants is directed toward those who come from another nation and cross borders illegally in search of work, but in India, anger is directed at fellow Indians. Protestors in the eastern Indian state of Bihar torched trains and ransacked stations for attacks on migrants that took place in western India. Trains were halted and the police battled angry mobs. The migration of thousands of workers from impoverished northern and eastern states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar into India’s booming areas has sparked a violent backlash as ambitious politicians spur crowds into action against the strangers.
On Wednesday, in Mumbai, a local politician whose arrest sparked riots was released and then went on urging his followers to take action against migrants from other areas of India. It is somewhat ironic that India is currently witnessing riots among Hindus where fifty years ago the riots were between Hindus and Muslims. It is always the “stranger” who causes the most hate among the ignorant.