IIM Alumnus pens down the struggles and discrimination faced by the North-East of IndiaMay 06, 2020 18:57
(Image source from: tripsavvy.com)
An IIM alumnus and Entrepreneur himself, Partha Pratim Das, who witnessed the first hand discrimination that the citizens of north-east India faced, spending his childhood and adolescence in Tripura.
Being part of the same country, the North Easter people have been on the receiving end of shrewd comments, unadulterated racism and constant discrimination. Das took his power of writing and shared the constant struggles the people of North East India have been facing till now.
He highlights the lack of recognition, highlighting how the North-East is treated as a source of natural reserves and a mere frontier to the government. Even when they are one of the biggest contributors of tea produced in the world, they aren’t eligible to house the headquarters of the Tea Board of India.
Das confesses the plight of the people saying that even though they are legal citizens of the country, they are not considered the cultural citizens.
The women in North-East are considered as preys in the bigger cities. They are not given a room on rent because of the labelling stereotypes that all they can think of is sex and drugs. The girls from North-East are stamped as whores. They have been on the constant receiving end of unwarranted advances and constant humiliation.
Das also talks about the plight of Tetei, who was forced to leave Delhi because of the constant mistreatment she received and the constant taunts of “chinki”. She wrote a poem to vent our her frustration, anger, agony, pain and sadness and that is what Das feels every North-East person feels when they leave their home for a better livelihood.
The lack of government attention and the constant showing of back left the people there with no opportunities to grab. The Regional Engineering College Silchar and the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati were the only two primary source of higher education sourced by the Government.
To top it off, the media built perception of the North-East India is even worse. The constant labelling of being an unsafe zone and the ridicule of the short stature and smaller eyes have left people thinking its okay to bully an entire section of India.
Being treated as an outcast all of their lives, when these people took the big step to move to the city, the constant racial discrimination heightened unlike anything else. Most of the story of violence, discrimination and harassment, except a few, didn’t make it to the mainstream media.
While a girl from the North-East was gangraped in 2005, the principal of Kirori Mal College advised its female students to wear salwar kameez. The constant label of “cheap and easy” has tainted the likes of the women hailing from North-East, which is far from the truth.
But, Das doesn’t stop at that. He highlights how the man from North-East is stereotyped as drug dealers and addicts. Such men and boys have been murdered, committed suicide because of extreme pressure but does the country hear about it? Probably not.
With the constant empowerment that the North-Easterns have indulged in and the retaliation that they have showed, it is time that people’s perspective about them changed. Albeit slow, the media is channelling more light into the darkness and the social media platforms have helped change the perspective of people of which was important.
As Das penned down, “Not Chinese. Not Nepalese. Not Coronavirus. We are Indians.”
By Somapika Dutta