Hey fellow Indians,
We have a message for you. We would introduce ourselves before anything and everything else. We inhabit the seven states of north-eastern India and northern parts of West Bengal. As we have deduced from years of our own ordeal, many educated Indians even now aren’t aware or would show every sign of not to be aware of the existence of this part of India, often ignored or overlooked. Let us tell you, rather take the privilege to educate you on this. The seven states in the north-eastern part of India that also are referred as seven sisters are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland , Sikkim and Tripura. And parts of Bengal that we have referred earlier are Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Koch Bihar.
This June, the Chief Minister of Mizoram, Mr. Pu Lalthanhawla finally vented his disillusion with his own countrymen at the Singapore International Water Week. And why wouldn’t he? In his own country he faced the question, thousand times at least if not any more, as to whether he is a Chinese or Nepalese or Japanese or a Korean? Shilpa Shetty being referred to as a ‘Paki’ in a reality show saw the entire Indian media on the point of shedding her tears and bringing her agonies, live and deferred, to every Indian household. The same media created a huge furor of the racial attacks against Indian students in Australia. But what about racism that we face in our own motherland? Where is the media? Lalthanhawla rightly said, “Indians consist of three races – Dravidians, Aryans and we in the northeast”. Is it just because of our short stature? Is it just because we have a flat nose and small eyes? We smell, with the flat nose. We see, with the small eyes as you do with your better features. God’s creation, we cannot help it. Neither do we want to.
Our girls have been customarily supposed to be easy preys in the bigger cities. It is tortuously burdensome for our girls to get houses/rooms on rent in Delhi and other cities, for people there think that we are harbinger of sex and drugs. Our girls are stamped born whores. Even if they manage to get one, there are unsympathetic restrictions on their choice of foods and what smells are allowed. Our girls are tired of the humiliation and unwanted advances everywhere. Tetei, one of our girls and yours too my friends, have been forced to leave Delhi because of the constant agonies she was subjected to. She was regularly pestered, heartlessly as ‘chinky’. We are reproducing below a poem written by Tetei
Tetei came from a village, far far away,
Where the spring river flows
and the nightingale sings.
Where the autumn brook glisters
like the face of an immaculate.
Where innocence still exists,
there amidst the hills so green.
She left that village, filled with dreams,
Dreams that she always dreamt of
back in her village so bare.
Dreams of neon lights and skyscrapers,
and of opportunity in abundance.
Dreams filled with dreams and dreams,
of changing her life and her destiny.
Oh how that dream shattered, with all the abuses,
Abused for being a woman,
as if it is a sin to be one.
Abused for being from the North-east,
as if she is a cheap whore from Sodom.
Abused by the media for being both,
as if they haven’t done enough harm already.
Tetei cried every night, and finally made her way,
Back to her barren village, far far away.
Urban Pind, a popular South Delhi club in June 2008 denied Dolma (a Naga lady) an entry, though they let her two friends in, a German and a South Indian. Asked about her nationality, she kept on trying to establish her identity as someone belonging to the North-East of India only to be replied back that she didn’t own the right identity for entrance. Any suggestions on how should we react to that? What about our fundamental rights? How should we feel? We have feelings too! Please remember.
Gyati Talo, a 32-year-old teacher from Arunachal Pradesh, who finished his graduation from a well-known college ofDelhi was being literally abused and agonized by a bunch of YOUNGsters in a Delhi lane because of his mongoloid features. He managed surviving three years in the capital city by not stepping out of his home alone after the sunset.
A study carried out by North East Support Centre & Helpline early this year revealed 86% of North Easterners being subjected to racial discrimination in Delhi. The scrutinizing looks and the questions, the feelings of being a proud Indian and being conscience-stricken of the need to assert identity are too harsh. India isn’t only Uttar Pradesh or Maharashtra. Neither is India only Chennai and Kolkata. India is as much Manipur and Nagaland. India isn’t only Anu Sharma and Anjali Daware. Neither is India only Narayana Subhramaniam and Saptarshi Chatterjee. India is as much Zorothra Darlong and Larson Sanathomba. Can we not any more be treated as aliens in our own soil? If only you co-operate.
(The poem is not my work. I came across it while reading an article on a similar topic)