Jamia tries to bridge gap, promotes northeast culture

In the aftermath of recent crimes against northeastern people, including the death of 19-year-old Nido Taniam, Jamia Millia Islamia is trying to create awareness about the region’s culture, language and art. 

Students, teachers and staff members came together to discuss issues related to safety and security of students from the eight northeast states. Vice Chancellor S M Sajid asked all the deans and department heads to be available for students from the northeast.

The professors shared their telephone numbers and emails with the students. “Students should feel encouraged to take guidance from us. In so many ways we are like guardians,” said Simi Malhotra, media coordinator at Jamia Millia Islamia. 

“It was a confidence building step. Students shared their experiences with us,” she added.Malhotra said the university is planning to build a museum, celebrating northeast culture. The university has submitted a proposal to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry. Referring to the Taniam incident, the Vice Chancellor said no life should be sacrificed because of prejudice and lack of understanding.

“There are so many myths and taboos about people from the northeast. One student asked his friend to name of all the northeast states and their capitals,” said Malhotra, explaining that such initiatives encourage cultural appreciation. 

“How many of us know that in Arunachal Pradesh, from where the boy (Taniam) came, Hindi is lingua franca?” she said. The university’s Centre of North East Studies celebrated its fourth North East Annual Day on Tuesday. Almost 1,000 people comprising scholars and students from Jamia and other universities of Delhi attended the programme. A minute of silence was observed at the commencement of the programme to mark the death of Nido Taniam. 

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