The story of extrinsic behaviour with North-Eastern people is old in India. They are considered as outsiders. For instance, a Manipur girl was abused at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. The airport officials put question mark on her identity even though she possessed sufficient evidence to prove her citizenship. To share this pain with others she wrote on Facebook that an immigration officer asked her – ‘Is she really an Indian?’ He also asked her about how many states exist in India. Many other irrelevant questions were asked to her asked to her as she belonged to the North East.
This was not the first incident which shows our attitude towards North eastern people. Similar cases have been reported in the past. These incidents are common with the students who hail from those regions. When they relocate to another states for pursuing higher education, people taunt them by saying that they are ‘Nepali’, ‘Chinese’ etc. People make them feel as if they are strangers or foreigners living in their own country. Why they have to face discrimination in India? Is it because they belong to northeast or the texture of their face is little different from we ordinary Indians? In fact, their only fault is they are isolated from the mainstream region of the country. It seems that the words “unity in diversity” exist only in paper and reality is far different. We are unable to adjust with people whose culture and looks are different from us.
Vivekanand V. Vimarya
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)