mid-day editorial: Let's keep the North East on India's map
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a youth convention in Karnataka that his government has worked towards the emotional integration of the northeast and only integration can counter radicalisation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a youth convention in Karnataka that his government has worked towards the emotional integration of the northeast and only integration can counter radicalisation. While one must meet statements by political parties with a dose of scepticism, the emotional integration does hit the right button.
The North East needs to feel integrated with the rest of the country. In Mumbai, North Easterners have spoken out in the past about feeling alienated and targeted. Their fears and misgivings have basis. In 2012, the North Easterners were gripped by panic and many moved out of Mumbai fearing violence against them. The violence though is a physical form of the routine discrimination they have to endure starting with being called chinki, momo and small eyes.
It is not only the government's onus to work towards integration. Every individual needs to work on creating an atmosphere of openness and empathy towards those singled out. It is shameful that people from need to reassert their 'Indianness' day after day, field slurs and being saddled with stereotypes and ridiculed for their physical attributes, in this the most cosmopolitan and accepting of all cities.
Every year, a runner from Darjeeling participates in the Mumbai marathon along with a group of runners from the North East. The aim is to improve timings at the event and to make people aware about Gorkhas from Darjeeling and people of the North East. They run wearing t-shirts that declare 'We are proud to be Indian'.
Recently, a prominent badminton player was trolled on social media as 'China ka maal'. It should be a matter of great shame that a section of our country feels they have to prove they are Indian in so many ways. Assimilation and being egalitarian, is not about doing a favour to people of a region. It should be our way of life.
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