Mind your language!

Mind your language!

Verbal Abuse

The next time you are tempted to call a person from the North-East a ‘chinki’, think again, for you could be put behind bars for a good five years.

The allegedly rising incidents of racial discrimination and verbal abuse against people from the North-East has prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to send a letter to all states and union territories, asking them to book offenders guilty of atrocity against people from the region under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act because a lot of people from the North-East belong to the ST.

In the letter, the ministry has admitted that people from the North-East face abuse. The letter states, “A sizeable number of persons belonging to the North-Eastern states are residing in metropolitan cities and in major urban areas of the country for education and employment.

It is reported that people originating from these North-Eastern states are facing discrimination as they are addressed with derogatory adjectives or face discrimination in the form of targeted attacks, assault, molestation and other atrocities.”

Metrolife asks people from the North-Eastern community living in the City about  their reaction to the new move by the Central Government in an effort to curb discrimination against the community.  

Lalrokhuma Pachau, director general and inspector general of police, points out that there are more than 2,000 North-Eastern students studying in various colleges in the City. “I don’t think there is any discrimination against the North-Eastern students in the City. The people are safe here,” he observes.

But the students and the professionals in the City think otherwise. The community as a whole, especially women, confess that they don’t feel safe here anymore. And many say that they were mocked at and have been called ‘chinki’ at some point of time.

Monika Khangembam, an employee with a digital publishing company, thinks that the statement comes as a relief for only those who fall under the SC and ST category.

“What about the rest of the people from the North-East who don’t belong to that category? Where should they go? wonders Monika. “Those from the North-East face discrimination in one form or other. It is a good step forward to make sure that we, as a community, feel safe. But it is important that it is implemented well. A lot has to be done to change people’s mindset,” says Monika.

Robert, a research scholar and make-up artist, feels this move will instill some fear in people and stop them from discriminating against people from the North-East. “It is the educated who resort to calling names, such as ‘chinks’, and teasing. I ignore it most of the time because I don’t want to land in any kind of trouble. The new move should be enforced in all earnestness,” he says.

Romilla, a student, observes that it is unfair to classify people into categories. “Laws don’t help contain problems. The solution is to work towards changing people’s mindset and attitude,” she sums up.

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