The Netflix Korean drama “Squid Game” has become the buzz of these days. This worldwide hit ultraviolent thriller is directed by the prominent filmmaker, Hwang Dong-hyuk. Recently, Netflix’s co-chief executive, Ted Sarandos was quoted saying that the show is primed to become the most-watched original series on the OTT platform. Keeping the story so as not to provide any spoilers and ruin the readers’ fun, I would like to talk about a single character that I found very astonishing. The character of Abdul Ali, a Pakistani migrant worker played by an Indian actor called Anupam Tripathi, has been shown as a tender-hearted, trustworthy person, a person holding onto one’s humanity at the worst time. However, this depiction is far from reality. Pakistanis account for the 6th highest crime rate committed by foreign nationals in South Korea from April to June in the year of 2021. The Korean National police Agency had earlier showed its concern on the rise of the organized crimes by foreigners and NPA announced a crackdown on Sunday on crimes committed by foreign nationals. The crimes committed are mainly that of drug-related offenses and the operation of illegal businesses. According to another data published by NPA in 2016, Pakistan nationals ranked the highest in major crime or violence cases, in the years 2011~16, followed by nationals of Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Sri Lanka, and Russia. This data incapacitates from time to time to Indians living in South Korea. Even though the number of Indians living in South Korea is fairly higher than Pakistanis, Indians are rarely reported to be involved in crimes in South Korea. There have been numerous incidents wherein Indians faced problems because of sharing the similarity in physical features with Pakistanis. Indians and Pakistanis look similar owing to the same origins which causes people of other ethnicities to confuse Indians for Pakistanis. Not only native Koreans but people of other nationalities living in Korea sometimes mistake Indians as Pakistanis which creates strain in their work. Often Indians living in Korea have to go through legal problems because of this. There have been incidents wherein Pakistanis showed themselves as Indians for personal gains such as using the name of India in their business for business benefits.
Source: Crimes of Foreign Nationals and Acceptability by Korean National
(Dong Kwan Kang Senior Researcher)
Source: Korea times
South Korea have moderate crime rates where violent crimes such as murder are uncommon. On this account, the highest ranks of Pakistan nationals in violent crime not only creates a negative image of Pakistanis in South Korea but it also creates problems for the Indians living in South Korea in their day-to-day life
In conclusion, the high crime rates are not justifiable reasons to be hostile to anyone. We have to try and understand to help iron out misunderstandings and share truths, thereby creating an atmosphere where everyone can coexist in harmony.