Murder Of Arunachal Student: North East Brutalized In The Capital Again!

When students from our country face racial attacks in Australia or in the US, India put up an ‘Indian’ front against racism. When our officers like Devyani Khobragade is discriminated against and prosecuted in USA India put up a united and heated opposition. There is nothing wrong in that, in fact it is good and positive. However, when it comes to living within India we transform into racial or regional or linguistic or religiously chauvinistic animals and tear at each other in sheer intolerance or hate or feelings of racial superiority or whatever you may call it. In a country that boast of having unity in diversity we ourselves give our politicians avenues to exploit us and politicize every related issue possible under the sun.

The so-called mainstream ‘Indians’ can very easily find out whether the person they confront belongs to the North East or any other isolated part of the country. They just need to have a look on the appearance and need to hear just one word uttered in Hindi—our national language that creates more problems than integration. If those ‘Indians’ turn out to be traders or transporters or overwhelming locals they tend to make fun or to exploit their ‘victims’ at the slightest opportunity. It is unfortunate that such bullying mentality is found even in the North East where the so-called superior and educated plains people always tend to look down upon the tribal communities and try to exploit them out of an inexplicable sense of neglect and hatred. North Eastern India is geographically isolated from rest of India and people here look distinctly different owing to their different ethnic origins. Combined with this the appalling ignorance in rest of India about this region makes these people objects of fun and ridicule often bordering on hatred or racism. There have often been incidents of harassment and discrimination against North East students all over the country with the capital taking the lead.

A teen-aged student from Arunachal Pradesh, Nido Taniam, visited a shop in Delhi on Wednesday. Shopkeepers and on-lookers made fun of his looks and allegedly his hair style. When Nido protested he was brutally beaten up. Delhi police appeared on the scene and instead of arresting the culprits forced out a compromise almost at the expense of the student. Next morning Nido was found dead, apparently from injuries sustained. Even then a FIR was registered only on Friday and as per reports today Delhi police have arrested three suspects. Nido’s body was flown today to Arunachal Pradesh where his father is a Congress legislator and a full postmortem report was awaited. Delhi police and all ‘Indian’ leaders or politicians vehemently denied any trace of racism involved.

North East students today took out protests in the capital demanding justice for Nido and end of racism and discrimination against North Eastern students and people. Delhi’s ‘common-man-on-the-street’ Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently took on the Delhi police for totally wrong reasons as his own law minister violated the law involving raids against women. Now when the right reason is there to take on Delhi police he preferred only to order a magisterial inquiry into the gruesome incident. Of course, some of his ministers did a verbal service of criticizing Delhi police for their usual delay and highhandedness. Maybe the hyped common man is only that kind of an ‘Indian’.

We demand full justice for all North Eastern students in India, particularly in the capital. We extend full support to North East Students Union on their movement for justice. End racism within India first and then look outside. Allow them to feel and live like proud Indians too.


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