Who are we?


By M.C. Linthoingambee

The recent death of Nido Taniam, a first year student from Arunachal Pradesh is indeed a condemnable action. Nido Taniam was only 19 years old and the manner of his death has been linked to a brutal attack on the basis of his appearance.  Over the years, more and more people from the northeast of India have complained of facing racial discrimination. Perhaps not having the same skin colour is a downright mark to the admittance but this land is as much our birthright as the rest of India. We are Indians, taught to stand upright by the Preamble of the Constitution and follow our duty as a downright Indian citizen. So, why is it that we are still viewed as someone from a foreign land? I remember coming across incidents where people asked me which country I belonged to. This is not right, so it is in the stronghold that we give them an adversity of the geographical indication of the northeast on the Indian Map and thus say that we do belong. Such incidents are not the first or the last one; they are a pervasive continuance where our existence is not known to a handful of people where they perpetrate us being from countries like China, Japan and so forth. “Are you Chinese?” this is a commonly asked question which I hear directed till today. A large section of the society still has no knowledge of the north-east and it is therefore time that they are told of our existence in awareness, academic books, etc. before we are questioned of the country we belong to. Do the fundamental rights not define a person’s identity? The Delhi High Court took suo moto action to honor the role of the effective working of India’s judiciary although a number of huge contentions lay ahead. They have also directed for full protection of most particularly any north-east settler in the capital so that uncertain fear of the above incident happening again might be avoided in the years to come.

Even with the Constitution’s standstill of how no person shall be discriminated on the basis of any caste, creed, religion, sex, etc. the real rights of a person is often numbered painstakingly as we look into the crumbling cornerstone of an expressed theory. The influences from  the people of the north-east, to the people living in divergence of mix-cultures like those of the Non-Resident Indians, the migrants settlers , children of multicultural families and so on often falls in the trap of what a narrow minded self restricted person builds up. As an excerpt from other reliable reports, here’s a list of such unconstitutional coherent acts: “The mysterious death of Loitam Richard in Bangalore, the murder of Ramchanphy Hongray in New Delhi, the suicide by Dana Sangma and other such incidents serve as reminders of the insecure conditions under which people, particularly the young, from the north-east of India have to live with. What these deaths have in common is that the three individuals were all from a certain part of the country, had a “particular” physical appearance, and were seen as outsiders in the places they died. These incidents have been read as a symptom of the pervasive racial discrimination that people from the region face in metropolitan India”.

The recent attacks on the African migrants at Khirki extension by the Law Minister himself can be termed as a wrong move as it is the duty of lawmakers to uphold the rights that are already embarked on the written laws of the country. Would we have stood still if any downright citizen from our own country was attacked in another country? The punishment of wrongs are best adjudicated by the person keeping check of the system of the principles of natural justice, actions should have been taken for complaints but the enforcement of the machinery in a manner so as to obstruct the right of any person on human grounds is wrong. Does our country always lock the doors for someone who looks a little different than we are? Let not this question be how we are viewed in the international backdrop.

Hefty conclusions do arise in the manner of attaining rights for example the ongoing conflicts between the Hindus and Muslims have been ongoing, but to what reason do we owe the cost? Does the amount of person who fall victim to such events a re-assurance of who rules over whom? We have all lived a little long enough to determine what is right from the wrong, we have all stood still and lived as a citizen who follows the law, and we have all shared the woes of records of an uneventful past, so why do we still choose to ignore to save a person who is mistreated by others. A new time does call for different measures. The workings of a handful number of activists into assuring that our rights are never disturbed are often commendable.

Today, we live in the age of technology where one person befits the use of social network, search engines, and so forth let us all use that in knowing a better part of others.

(M.C. Linthoingambee is an undergraduate pursuing B.Com. LL.B(H). An avid blogger, poet, a seasonal artist and a foodie, she is also a life member to the Indian Society of the Red Cross.)


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