Racial attack is a matter of extreme shame, not of pride. India has been boosting her unity in diversity in recent times, but cases of racial discrimination pose a big question on the authenticity of these statements. Each state and province of India displays something different in terms of style, skin colour, culture and character. Students from North Eastern states in Delhi experience most of the discrimination and feel deeply hurt with such behaviour. The recent case of Nido Taniam, a student and the son of an Arunachal Pradesh Congress legislator, too has aroused a stir. He was beaten up because of his different hair style and died a day after the attack.
Nido was studying in Jalandhar and came to Delhi to meet his friends. At Lajpat Nagar, he asked for the address from a local shopkeeper. But the shopkeeper along with other fellow shopkeepers in the vicinity made mockery of Nido’s hair style and colour. Out of rage, Nido broke the glass item worth Rs. 7,000. Nido was then beaten up mercilessly with iron rods and sticks by six people. Police intervened to solve the matter and made Nido pay back Rs 7,000, which he did. He then went to his room at his sister’s home, but the next day was found dead in his bed. The initial report of doctors has stated that a swelling in the brain has led to the death of Nido.
This is not the first time that people from the North East state have faced racism in Delhi. In February, two Manipuri women were assaulted by a group of men who also passed racist remarks. Then, there was the suicide by Dana Sangma, the death of Loitam Richard in Bengaluru and few more cases to prove this. All have something in common – they were from North East region of India, they had different style or physical appearance, and are mostly considered outsiders but not Indians.
Is Delhi really turning out to be a city without law and order? The Capital of the country is generally home to people from all walks of life and states. Nido’s case received public attention and people from these states are now protesting for justice. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi joined the protest and today it was also joined by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Students are demanding fast track investigation into the death of Nido.
There have been protests, candle-light marches, participation of politicians – yet there has been no concrete step taken towards safety and security. Nobody seems to care about the failing law and order in the city. Proper action must be taken against the racism in India. It is really sad the way Indians ill treat their own fellow Indians. In other countries, racism is towards foreigners, but in India the racism is towards our own people. Racial discrimination exists in India but is not taken that seriously. Mostly, it is the people from North East who are facing this problem. Many of the racism cases go unattended and only the cases like that of Nido receive media and public attention. Government must act in a significant way and come up with stringent laws to stop the racial discrimination.
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