By Nongmaithem Puinyachandra Singh
Does real India Exist, today? Supposing that someone asks you where your face is, where should you point at? Where will your index finger lay? Which part of your face –nose, forehead, chin or which? If your index finger lays on your forehead, then people will say,” It is your forehead, not your face.” And when you put your index finger on your nose, people will again say,” It is your nose, not your face.” Thus it becomes difficult for you to say where your face is, which means the definition of ‘FACE’ is something which most of us either hardly know or deliberately fail to know.
In the same manner, if a foreigner asks us where India is, which part of India will be mentioned to represent ‘INDIA’? Delhi? Mumbai? Kolkata? Pune? None of them. In the case of ‘FACE’, it is the whole part of our so-called face, which includes forehead, nose, etc. In the same manner India gets its real and meaningful identity only when all the states and union territories are collectively considered as one country, INDIA.
But surprisingly, the people in the mainland India seem to keep ignoring the North-East part of India being part of the country, and if not ignore, look down upon, which is quite clear from the treatment given to the people from this region. But one thing I want the people of mainland India to know is that the North-East part of India cannot be ignored or looked down upon if they want India to become a great country with real Identity, because it’s an integral part of India.
Unfortunately, misled by this idea, many people in the North-East unnecessarily try to take refuge in racism fanned by mutual distrust and prejudices, leading to a more complicated stage where we start to look at other fellow Indians with suspicion and there is a self-created animosity among us. India, being a country defined by multiculturalism and diversity, cannot totally get rid of such misunderstandings from the minds of its people. But the only important thing is how far we are successful in resolving such misunderstandings through efforts like mutual understanding – understanding of culture, religion, land, language, etc. and removing such mutual distrust and prejudices from our minds.
In spite of all this, people in the North-East are firm in their stand enough to maintain their identity of being Indian. For example, in Arunachal Pradesh people, though it is claimed as part of their land by China, resist and never surrender to the mighty China’s claim which is threatening the territorial boundary of India. They never give up their belief that they are Indians and will be Indians forever whatever obstacle that comes to shaken it. Such is the belief all the people in the North-East hold very firmly. People in the mainland India also need to come to the reality and understand the fact that India is a land of diversity in terms of language, religion, culture, geographical structure, etc. But luckily, behind such a plethora of difference lies the unity, the ‘unity in diversity’, which in itself is ‘the concept of India’.