'Walk the talk, Mr Minister'

'Walk the talk, Mr Minister'

'Walk the talk, Mr Minister'

Even as a number of talks and discussions on the issue of racial discrimination and assaults against people from the northeast are continuously being held, northeasterners living in the City are of the opinion that nothing concrete has come out of these and that things are the way they were before. 

Around the same time when Kiran Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, who hails from Assam, was meeting people from the northeast living in the City on Saturday to instill confidence among them, a couple from Nagaland was being racially and physically abused on the outskirts of the City. 

On Friday, Karnataka Home Minister, K J George held a similar meeting with City residents from the N-E region. A day after a meeting of the ‘Members of Committee on Northeast Concerns’ in the City, initiated by the Union Home Ministry, was held in June, a young girl from Manipur working in a spa was assaulted by her employer.  

Michael Lamjathang Haokip, the youth from Manipur who was assaulted recently for ‘not knowing Kannada’ was of the opinion that mere arresting the culprits would not lead anywhere in solving the issue of racial discrimination: “Punishing the culprit is not the solution. There is a need to give a greater concern to a long-term policy to deal with the issue and implement it. We need to convey the message that racial discrimination has to be stopped completely,” he said.

Michael added that the Union and State governments spring into action only when atrocities against NE community come to light.

Len Singson, general secretary, Northeast Welfare Association in Karnataka (NEWAK), said there was a need to follow up action on the promises made by State and Central leaders.

“The government needs to recognise us as an official body representing the interest of people of our region, living here. When the meeting which saw the participation of Rijiju was held here, we never get any official invitation and instead were asked by a third party to attend the meeting,” he said.