Pubs and bars in Bangalore are denying entry to nationals from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and other African countries citing security reasons, as the common belief is that all ebony-skinned people are ‘drug peddlers’, ‘scamsters’ and ‘trouble makers’. Bangalore has a sizeable student population from the African continent – 20-somethings from countries as diverse as Cameroon and Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania. However, at most of the city’s hep clubs, all dark-skinned people are strangely ‘Nigerians’ and to be avoided, though they don’t say it out aloud.
At most of these bars and pubs, blacks are generally frowned upon. In most cases, a group of black males, unaccompanied by women gets responses varying from a polite – “sorry, prior reservation needed” to the outright rude – “please leave”. At one of the sports bars, which had the most number of complaints, the head of marketing said it was “security reasons” and not racism that made them discourage blacks from coming. Besides, the bar’s other clients were uncomfortable with black-skinned people around, he said.
One of the local papers carried out a sting operation in four of the city’s major hotspots – Xtreme Sports Bar, Indiranagar, Athena, The Leela Palace Time, Xtreme Sports Bar, Kammanhalli Main Rd and Fusion Lounge, Brigade Road and found that Afro-nationals were indeed not allowed in by the officials citing varied reasons like “private party” and “stags not allowed”.