Sept 18, 2016: Ban on the term ‘Allochtoon’ in all official forums in Netherlands is urged by the Hindus or rather by the whole Indian diaspora. The term is quite unknown to a lot of people. Here are few things which should be known about it-
Allochtoon is a Dutch word which in the literal sense means, ‘emerging from another soil’. Here, this pejorative term refers mainly to the immigrants and their descendants.
‘Autochtoon’ is opposite to Allochtoon and it means people who are not immigrants; they and their descendants have been Netherlands always, born and brought up there.
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Before 1960, Netherlands has experienced fairly large migration but after 1960, immigration became more important than that of emigration. The immigrants arrived due to several reasons and they started pouring in, in different periods.
East Indies (Indonesia), New Guinea, Turks and Moroccans etc. have settled down in the country over the last few decades.
The reason why this term has been in the news is because it seems quite unfair to be called allochtoon even though the person is a native of Netherlands or maybe they have been staying in Netherlands for generations but are still tagged as “allochtoon” by several people who do not consider them as one of their own. The situation is also same for some people who have migrated there centuries ago.
Indian diaspora believes such an outdated, stigmatising and divisive term doesn’t have a meaning in this 21st century. There is no point of discriminating between immigrants and natives.
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Netherlands, by using such term is unfavourably distinguishing people and are forcing them into this allochtoon section creating a barrier from the rest of the Dutch. Not just that, these allochtoons were further labelled as Western and non-Western.
Indian diaspora hopes that Netherlands would show a strong political will to end such racism, labelling and would treat all Dutch people as the equal contributors to the society by looking forward towards equal opportunities for all.
– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi