Racial Discrimination: A Serious Issue Of North-East People

India takes pride to be a powerful democratic country in the world. The Constitution of India lays down many provisions and rights to safeguard the minorities and to fulfill the aspirations of the citizens of the country irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion etc. It is mentioned in the Preamble to the Constitution of India that India is sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic country. While framing the Constitution, many provisions were borrowed from many countries to make our Constitution the best of all which would be required for effective governance and to provide its citizens liberty, justice and equality.

But it’s important that one should question himself whether or not these principles do actually comply with the current scenario of the country. Isn’t it important for the people of mainland India to ask why there are so much of problems in North East, especially Insurgency?

Being geographically isolated from the mainland India does not mean the region has no potential, or it cannot be developed. North East region has enormous resources viz forest & wild life resources, agricultural resources (especially in Assam), mineral resources, hydropower resources etc. It is notable that India cannot find a good position in world arena of sports without Manipur. It is also reported that Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya have also voluminous resources of Uranium which is a source of nuclear energy and a matter concerning India every now and then. Further, many hilly areas of Manipur and few other States of Northeast are the sources of fruits from which people don’t get a minimum support price because of lack of transport & trading facilities.

Being aware of the available resources and conflicting scenario of lack of transport and essential facilities, why is the Centre still keeping quite? Why don’t they look into the concerns of the downtrodden region? Why should not we call this DISCRIMINATION?

She is like our sister. She earns to support her family. She works in night shift and she returns home late. Can anybody imagine the situation, where this girl was being gang-raped inside a goods vehicle like those villains in Hindi films? Yes there would be definitely a Hero, who might have come to save her, had the situation been in films. Unfortunately, that was not a film shooting. It happened in real.

It is known to us that this is not the first incident. Incidents of similar kind has happened a number of times before. I pity Delhi Police that they are not able to do anything. (I am sorry) I was wrong, they are able to do but they are not willing to do just because the victim is from Northeast. Where are those Ministers and caretakers of Northeastern States who at times of need keep their mouth shut? They must be busy in campaigning for their next election. Aren’t they? So far no Minister or representative turns up boldly against this kind of racial discrimination and sexual assault.

When internal racial discrimination is rampant within the country, why should we bother about racial discrimination of Indians in Australia that happened last year? Not only in Australia, many Indians faced racial discrimination even in USA and parts of Europe.  KR Narayanan, the then President of India was teased by media persons of France while he had a visit to France. When the Government has no concern about racial discrimination of Northeast people within the country, it is no wonder why Indians are racially discriminated outside the country. During the time when many Indians were racially discriminated and hurt, top Indian leaders including Prime Minister, President, and MPs & Ambassadors were very active. But when racial discrimination occurs within the country, they remain silent and keep watching the scene.

Though many approached police stations for filing cases, the police personnel never took the matter seriously. Again the reason being from North East, which is easily recognizable at primae facia. Should we blame the Almighty for having gifted a distinctive look?

Racial discrimination is accountable for the rise of insurgency in North East. The consequence will not be fair if it continues to happen for a decade. Finally, non- North East people will have no place to live in North East. Some day or the other, there will be great revolution by the North East against the mainland people.

Some opined that dressing style of few North East girls do contribute to the tragic incidents. Of course, this factor cannot be ruled out. In this connection, our Northeast girls must also be very careful of the way they dress. Further, non-North East girls do also dressed odd. But they are not targeted by the local people. The local Goondahs usually target North East girls thinking that they are considered cheap and the local police will not take any action if they make an attempt to sexually abuse them.

Delhi, the destination of most students & Capital of India is not really safe for girls in particular. If this kind of incident becomes the order of the day, whose parents will send their daughters to Delhi for studies? Should parents stop sending their daughters for studies and work?

The Government of India must constitute a committee relating to providing safeguards for North East people. They must punish those police personnel who neglect cases filed by NE people. People who are found involved in such crime must be given life imprisonment or even death penalty so that people will never think of committing this crime again.

The top leaders of NE including CMs must be very active and they must consider this as their unbounded duty. Civil organizations, UCM, Apunba Lup Manipur and other Women’s Organizations must also take active part. Mass movement is required to curb this menace. Like what we have done to preserve the integrity of Manipur, a strong agitation and mass movement is of highly necessary.

Freedom fighters of the then India were shocked by the Partition of Bengal in 1905. Gandhiji was not happy even after Independence because of the partition of the country into India & Pakistan. Let’s not create a Third Partition. The future welfare & prosperity of the nation will largely depend on the North East region. It is high time that the nation as a whole wakes up to the burning issue to stop communal & regional violence, to curb insurgency, to maintain peace & harmony across the country and for effective Constitutional machinery. The Government should make every possible effort so that every NE resident does not feel being isolated or discriminated but thinks that he or she is an Indian and wishes to remain as a citizen of a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic India.

*The article is written by Ramananda Nongmeikapam

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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