Raising an issue of national concern

Do they look alien? Do they have four hands and four legs? Do they eat using their legs? No. Then why this discrimination towards them? They come from the same land as others, i.e., India.

The only distinctive aspect is their language and their mongoloid features, which are perceived to be un-Indian and as such open to ridicule and discrimination, as recent incidents of physical assault on members of the Northeast community have shown. 

The recent case where a Northeast student, Nido Taniam succumbed to his injuries and few others mugged and beaten, has once again raised questions on Delhiites and their attitude towards outstation students.

To protest the increasing crime against students from the Northeast, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad recently held a Dharna at the Jantar Mantar demanding adequate security for students from the Northeast, in Delhi.

According to Shreehari Borikar, national general secretary of ABVP, “It is painful that many Indians do not know anything about the Northeastern part of their own country. And it is important that adequate knowledge is provided about the culture and heritage of different States of India.” 

National Secretary of ABVP, Rohit Chahal argues that “Delhi Police’s irresponsible attitude is also a reason for rise in such incidents. We demand that the Government  take adequate steps and ensure such acts are not repeated.”

The case has highlighted the way people treat members of the Northeast community in the City and how they are made to feel like aliens and not as part of the country. ABVP’s Delhi state secretary, Saket Bahuguna reiterated the demand for  adequate hostel and PG facilities.

“The Government should provide adequate hostel facilities to the Northeast students in Delhi,” adding “To ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future, special programmes for national integration and unity should be started all over the country. It is also unfortunate that NCERT books have very little coverage of the rich cultural, heritage and history of Northeast due to which many people have inadequate knowledge about that region. The Government should open hostels for them so that they don’t face any issues related to their stay in the City.”

ABVP also runs a helpline number for Northeast students where they can call for assistance – 9810900912, 9716199780, 8800813757. ABVP also demanded that the ‘Room Rent Control Act’ be immediately implemented in Delhi so that the Northeast students can be guarded against exploitation from the landlords.

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