This is in response to the editorial titled “Shameful incident”(November 25).
The shameful incident in Chennai once again serves as direct proof how this “elite” nation , of attaining Mars orbit, is actually supreme racist and intolerant to the core.
The linguistically minority and migrant communities are mocked, abused and assaulted in almost all Indian states. Tamils and Kannadigas often engage in violent confrontation over Cauvery waters. As an erstwhile resident of Bihar, I am witness to series of racist incidents against the Bengalis settled there. Again the Hindi-speakers found themselves in the position of victims in Maharashtra. However there lies no doubt to the fact that the worst form of racism get perpetrated against our North-Eastern brothers and sisters due to their “unpardonable sin” of looking, dressing or talking “differently”! After all isn’t all things Indian are embedded in one and only Bollywood- New Delhi-Mumbai-Modi-Gandhi -Bangalore-Bhangra-Garba-Sherwani-Salwar-Hindi-Urdu-Punjabi-Ghazal-Bhajan and all things associated with the North, South and West India! But North-East indeed becomes an “integral” part of India overnight only when any terrorist outfit of the region wages war against the State! That means there should be absolutely no compromise regarding the geographical entity of India , but common North-Eastern citizens and their culture would not be accorded its due respect and entitled place under the Indian “mainstream” sun!
Even the “bright futures of our nation”, who are pursuing higher education in reputed Universities and engineering colleges, engage themselves in making fun of the language and physical features of the North-Easterners and racially abuse them by calling all kinds of names. Yet this very parochial country accuses Australia or USA of being “racist”! At least the Australian and American authorities immediately nab and punish the culprits who heckle the Indians living there. But how many North or South Indian brutes have been sentenced or at least booked by the administration for raping the vulnerable girls and killing the students hailing from North-east?
“Nationalism” is good, but it cannot be accorded higher seat than humanity. Thus India’s geographical entity should certainly be protected, but at the very same time our North-eastern brothers and sisters should be practically placed on an equal pedestal as the Punjabis, Gujaratis, Tamils and Uttar Pradeshis. They should be awarded their rightful place in the political history and culture of multi-lingual democratic India, so that no “mainstream” individual can dare to humiliate them based on their ethnicity or attire. And strictest of punishment should necessarily be awarded to the goons and brutes so that they think twice before again insulting, ill-treating, mocking or racially abusing our North-Eastern cousins.
Ending with the 100% correct observation of Dr.Arun Seal — history don at Trinity College, Cambridge. During the launch of Dr.Kartar Lalvan’s book “The Making of India: The Untold Story of British Enterprise” in a London function, Dr.Seal had remarked about his fellow Indians — “We are one of the most racist countries in the world. We are one of the most hierarchical and most colour conscious countries in the world; we are one of the most evil countries in the treatment of elites to the people below them,(and) corrupt”. The self-declared nationalists might promptly character-assassinate Dr.Seal as “anti-national”; but the predicament of the linguistically minorities (specially North-Easterners) in their own country once again proves how prophetic the comments of Dr.Seal were! Instead of engaging in rabid “patriotism” and chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’; Indians, specially of “mainstream” and “elite” vintage, should learn to introspect a bit so as to turn better and tolerant human beings.