Bikers take to streets against racial abuse

All for unity

Bikers take to streets against racial abuse

As many as 200 bikers from the City took part in a bike rally that was organised to condemn acts of racial discrimination against the northeastern community, especially after the recent murder of Nido Taniam, the boy from Arunachal Pradesh in Delhi.

The rally named, ‘Bikers Against Racial Discrimination’ was organised under the aegis of Brotherhood of Bulleeters Motorcycling Consortium (BOBMC) here on Sunday. It was flagged off from Town Hall at around 8:40 am and passed through Hudson Circle, Mission Road, Lalbagh Road, RV Road, Nanda Theatre Road, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, Silk Board and Outer Ring Road before concluding at the BDA Complex in HSR Layout.

Ajit Lakshmiratan, a biker from 50+ Bulleteers, said: “We are very much concerned about the prevailing racial discrimination. It is a blot on our society and we condemn it. We, as a responsible biking community, express our solidarity with brothers and sisters from the northeast.” Pamphlets were distributed along the route of the rally in order to educate people about the event and its objective. Placards with creative messages like - ‘Friends Are Made by Heart, Not by Skin Colour,’ ‘We, the riding family, won’t stand racial discrimination,’ ‘Stop All Violence Against Northeast’ and ‘We All Have Eyes, But to See Right, We Should Use Our Brains’ adorned the rally from start to finish.

The rally also saw participation from bikers from the northeast. Bishwajit Singh Rajkumar from Manipur said: “As a biker, I have never faced any racial discrimination from among the biking community. I am proud to be part of this community and want the larger society to emulate our biking community and learn to accept the people who are different from you. If you want to understand people, you should visit their places and meet them; spend time with them. Then only one will start to understand that they are as beautiful as you are.”

Ringo Pebam, another biker from Manipur, who works in the City, said: “Northeastern people face insults, sexual harassment, physical violence and humiliation on a daily basis. People here know very little about Northeastern, our history, culture, food habits, languages; people don’t know that India is home to people of different races. We demand changes in school and college curricula to include information about Northeast so that all Indians know about us. The government should conduct a large-scale public education about the northeastern through mass media.”

Prof Rini Ralte from Mizoram, who has made Bangalore her home, addressed the bikers and said: “Racial discrimination is a violence faced by us every day in Bangalore and in other cities. The recent exodus of thousands of northeastern from Bangalore indicates the kind of constant fear we live under. Ours is a struggle against discrimination, ours is a struggle for justice and peace.”

Human rights activist Manohar Elavarthi from Praja Rajakiya Vedike appreciated the efforts of the biking community in fighting against racism. He demanded that police should be sensitised on the issues of the northeastern and to recruit people from the region into Karnataka police force to make it racially diverse. He appealed to bikers to continue this struggle to change people’s attitudes and to bring lasting changes against racism.

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